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East Village West: Ambitious exhibit of NYC’s fabled 70/80s art scene opens in LA
09.28.2011
01:54 pm

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Art
Fashion
History
Pop Culture

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Photo of Ann Magnuson at Club 57 by Robert Carrithers

The block quoted text below is a slightly edited email that Dangerous Minds pal Ann Magnuson sent me this morning regarding an amazing sounding art exhibit that she and artist Kenny Scharf are curating at the quirky Royal/T gallery in Los Angeles. Titled “East Village West” (in official partnership with “Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980”) the show aims to link the fabled New York neo-Dada art scene of the late 70s/early 80s that coalesced around Magnuson’s Club 57 nightclub with its campy Hollywood influences. In the words of the curators “Walt Disney, Russ Meyer, Roger Corman, The Beverly Hillbillies, Sonny & Cher, The Partridge Family, Hanna-Barbera, Ed Wood, Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, Sid and Marty Krofft, The Monkees, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, The Mamas & The Papas, the cast of Rowan & Martin’s LAUGH-IN, Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, Rodney Bingenheimer and his glam rock English Disco and every Shindig-lovin’, hullabaloo-ing teenager who ever rioted on the Sunset Strip.”

This is a museum-quality show, another art world score for Royal/T.

The exhibit is primarily art and ephemera from the collections and archives of Kenny and myself. Funny enough, I was finally sorting through all my East Village memorabilia when Kenny called me and asked if I’d take on the lions share of this curating job as he has a big show coming up and is painting night and day. It’s become massive! We have paintings, sculpture, fashions, video, photographs, ephemera….it is really a museum quality show! We focus primarily on Club 57 but there are many other elements as well…

We have art by Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Jean-Michel Basquiat (one real and two of my fakes), Tseng Kwong Chi, John Sex, Kitty Brophy showing art she’s never shown before, Bruno Schmidt, Kenny Scharf, Ann Magnuson, Vincent Gallo, Frank Holliday, Scott Covert, Stefano Castronova, Nancy A. Kintisch, Greer Lankton’s Terri Toye doll, Paul Monroe, Plasticgod and Randy Focazio; photographs by Robert Carrithers, Harvey Wang, Ande Whyland, Lina Bertucci, Joseph Szkodzinski; video by Barry Shils, Steve Brown, Andy Rees, Tom Rubnitz, and others; fashions by Natasha Adonzio (Natasha N.Y.C.) and Katy K; special ‘vintage’ DJ mix by original Club 57 DJ Dany Johnson in the “Porta Party” installation pod; PLUS cool ephemera and rare video provided by original Club 57 members like Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman, Kristian Hoffman, Howie Pyro, Naomi Regelson, Jerry Beck and so many more! PLUS excerpts from THE NOMI SONG (directed by Andrew Horn) and ARIAS WITH A TWIST (directed by Bobby Sheehan)!

We are showing a lot of John Sex’s art that has never been exhibited. He made these gorgeous silkscreens and several feature Klaus Nomi. We also have many of the beautiful large silkscreen posters he did for events at Club 57.

Joey Arias is sending us several of Klaus Nomi’ costumes.  The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Postmodernism show is currently showing two of Klaus’ costumes. They wanted the vinyl coat that we will be exhibiting (a very early costume of Klaus’ that he had made based on the Sixties plastic raincoat Howie Pyro stole out of his mother’s closet so Klaus could use it to create his Nomi character that he debuted at the New Wave Vaudeville show). Joey couldn’t find it when he was gathering items for the V&A but he finally did find it and he sent it to us! (Howie is also DJ at the opening).

There is a beautiful slide show featuring work from 5 different photographers on the scene. LOADS of video including live footage from Club 57 never shown. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (who won the Tony for HAIRSPRAY) did some of their first musicals at Club 57 and we have a clip from one of them. Clip from THE NOMI SONG about the New Wave Vaudeville show and clips from ARIAS WITH A TWIST to give the youngin’s a quick East Village history lesson.

Kenny Scharf videos (very Warholian if Warhol was a complete goofball), my MADE FOR TV, the video of the Ladies Auxilliary LADY WRESTLING night…

A compilation of our California influences that were transmitted into our still forming noggins via TV edited by Jonathon Stearns that I KNOW you are gonna love.

A special display for the Monster Movie Club (Howie Pyro lending us his MMC t-shirt).

Young members of the ‘new generation’ carrying on the tradition of Club 57 will be performing. Fresh off last seasons AMERICA’S GOT TALENT, Prince Poppycock will sing The Mumps song THAT FATAL CHARM to a track he is recording with Kristian Hoffman (who wrote the song). Another Hoffman hit is one originally sung by Klaus Nomi and sung by Timur of the Dime Museum who is simple astounding! Drag King Mo B. Dick is ‘coming out of retirement’ to do John Sex (John Waters says she is his favorite Drag King, she was featured in PECKER) , and more! (Everyone is listed in text below).

Austin Young is doing an on site art installation called CALIFORNIA NEW WAVE creating New Wave makeovers, Austin Young style.

Dany Johnson made a 4-hour DJ mix of her Club 57 favorites.

The list goes on! As you can see, the show and the opening in particular is going to be a bona fide old skool ART HAPPENING!

We encourage everyone to pull their pointy toed shoes and ripped fishnets out of mothballs and come on down!

We hope to inspire and encourage the young kids how to have fun and be wildly creative with no money! We did it during the first great recession, it can be done during the second!

The details: Royal/T presents East Village West, curated by Ann Magnuson and Kenny Scharf. From October 1, 2011 until January 10, 2012. Opening reception Saturday, October 1, 8-11pm

DJ Howie Pyro and performances by Prince Poppycock, Timur of The Dime Museum, Drag King “Mo B. Dick” as John Sex (along with “his” Bodacious Ta-Tas), Stacy Dawson Stearns, Gregory Barnett, and Meg Wolfe are The Psych-Out Dada Go-Go Family and of course Ann Magnuson and Kenny Scharf.

Plus video from Club 57 never before shown in public. Doughnuts are promised.

Below, a slideshow of some of Harvey Wang’s great photos of Club 57:
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
American Juggalo: The Movie
09.28.2011
10:57 am

Topics:
Hip-hop
Music
Pop Culture
U.S.A.!!!

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Wait, someone brought a child to this???

American Juggalo, a new short film by Brooklyn-based director, Sean Dunne explores (without judgement or editorializing) the distinctive youth culture of the Juggalos, adoring fans of Christian horrorcore metal rappers, The Insane Clown Posse. It is funny, fascinating and disturbing in turns.

Each year approximately 20,000 juggalos and jugglettes, meet up (usually in campgrounds far from civilization) for the four-day musical festival known as “The Gathering of the Juggalos.” Think of it as a white-trash version of Burning Man, but with a much lower collective IQ, no good-looking people, pregnant drunk chicks with cigarettes, and empty two-liter bottles of Faygo orange soda littering the landscape…

As one participant reflects: “These motherfuckers made me the motherfucker who I am today.” I believe him!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Primitive London’: A look at the city’s Beatniks, Mods and Rockers from the 1960s
09.27.2011
06:02 pm

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Fashion
Pop Culture

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A brief vignette from the “exploitation” documentary feature Primitive London from 1965, featuring London’s beatniks hanging out in their local bar, answering questions on dress, work, idling and marriage. The bar is where Rod Stewart (aka Rod the Mod) hung out, and the featured musicians are Ray Sone, harp (later of The Downliner’s Sect) and Emmett Hennessy, vocals, guitar.

Though some have been dismissive of Primitive London, it’s now a film of cultural importance, which, at first glimpse, reveals a world long gone, but when closely examined, the groupings, motivations and patterns of behavior are still the same today.
 

 
Via Publique, with thanks to Tara McGinley
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Sex Pistols vs Madonna
09.26.2011
03:14 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Pop Culture
Punk

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Rather grateful to ace musician Fleabag Jones (aka Woody Mcmilan) for reminding me how well this mash-up between the Sex Pistols and Madonna works.

Called “Ray of Gob” (“Ray of Light” / “Pretty Vacant” / “God Save The Queen”), it was created by Mark Vidier, the Watford based DJ who has produced a whole jukebox of bootleg mash-ups via his Go home Productions.

“Ray of Gob” is rather special as it was the one which “broke the camel’s back” and allowed Mark to give up the day-job in February 2003. Still sounds as good today.
 

 
With thanks to Woody Mcmillan
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Support the Wall Street protestors with some pizza!


 
If you’d like to show some support for the brave and persistent protestors who are occupying lower Manhattan to call attention to rapacious finance capitalism run amok, why not consider sending some… pizza?

Some local pizzerias listed by Get Smart News who’ll deliver to the anti-capitalism protestors. Liberatos Pizza & Parmigiana at 17 Cedar Street are offering a “Stand-Up-for-Your-Beliefs” special, “The Occu-Pie,” but you might want to consider ordering some meatless (if not vegan) options for this bunch—call Liberatos at (212) 344-3464

For some healthier options click here; below, some lower Manhattan pizzerias:

Adrienne’s Pizza Bar Restaurant, 54 Stone Street, (212) 248-3838
Harry’s Italian Pizza Bar, 2 Gold Street, (212) 747-0797
Papa John’S Pizza, 21 Maiden Lane # 23, (212) 608-7272
Underground Pizzeria, 3 Hanover Square, (212) 425-4442
Zeytuna, 59 Maiden Lane, (212) 742-2436
Big Al’s Chicago Style Pizza, 9 Thames Street, (212) 964-3269
Caruso’s Pizza & Pasta140 Fulton Street, (212) 267-2927
Cucina Bene Pizza, 41 Exchange Place, (212) 635-0345
Grotto Pizzeria & Restaurant, 69 New Street, (212) 809-6990
Caruso’s Pizza, 42 Broadway (212) 785-7747
Friendly Gourmet Pizza, 59 Nassau Street, (212) 791-180

Some non-pizza local restaurants that will deliver to the protestors:

Lemon Grass Grill, (212) 809-8038
Toloache Taqueria, 212) 809-9800
Alfanoose, (212) 528-4669

Occupy Wall Street rediscovers the radical imagination (Guardian)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Misty Roses: Wichita Linemen from the Black Lagoon
09.25.2011
05:33 pm

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Featured
Music
Pop Culture

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Robert Conroy has the voice of an angel - an angel who’s lived a season in hell.

Conroy is one half of the exquisite pop duo, Misty Roses, whose beautiful and ethereal voice is married to the dramatic and mesmeric music of Jonny Perl. From when they first met, they understood each other. Call it synchronicity. Call it good taste.

Together they are Misty Roses - the most startlingly original and brilliant group of the past 5 years.

In an exclusive interview with Dangerous Minds, Misty Roses, Conroy and Perl, explain the who’s, what’s, why’s and wherefores of their music.

Robert: ‘I met Jonny in late 2002, when he was still living in Brooklyn. We had a mutual friend and, in passing, I mentioned to that mutual friend that I was obsessed with Scott Walker and Julie London. To which he said “There is only ONE other person ON EARTH who is obsessed with Scott Walker AND Julie London! That’s this English guy I know, Jonny Perl!” And I found out he was a musician, and I was intrigued - so I got Jonny’s number and I called him. We met soon afterwards, and we just realized very quickly that we were on very similar frequencies. I mean, after our first rehearsal - which was three hours long, maybe - I think we came away with working demos of three or four songs that ended up on our first LP. We understood each other - musically -  from the get-go.’

Born and raised in NYC, Robert had performed with a range of bands “post-punk, goth, electronic” over the years, and says he “was lucky enough to have a front row seat for a lot what happened musically over last decade or two.” The range of experience only confirmed his talents and focused his ambitions.

Robert: First and foremost, I am a singer - I’ve trained with some serious vocal coaches, in my day. And I like a lot of different kinds of music. So if I dig the people and I dig how they write songs and they dig how I write songs, then I’m game.’

British born Jonny has always been musically gifted, as a child he learned to play the cello, piano, and saxophone. Before Misty Roses he had played in a variety of combos, and was playing with a surf band in NYC when the conversation about Julie London brought him to Robert.

Jonny: ‘The synergies between our musical interests seemed so strong that we both figured it was worth giving it a shot.’

Together, they create music that is the perfect fusion of cabaret and cinema, of torch song and widescreen. You are listening to the score for a dream by Kenneth Anger or Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Douglas Sirk or David Lynch.

Robert: ‘We have been described as Lynchian - which we take as a great compliment. (And we did cover a David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti song on our disc Komodo Dragons - so it sort of fits, don’t it?) But we both love the way Mr. Lynch takes something seemingly innocuous and pretty - such as a song like “Sixteen Reasons” or “Blue Velvet” - and discovers all these inherently disturbing elements beneath its surface.  I hope we create a similar kind of frisson with our best songs.

‘Musically, we are deeply influenced by non-rock popular music from the later half of the Twentieth Century.  Soundtrack composers like Ennio Morricone, John Barry and Jerry Goldsmith, exotica, bossa nova and tropicalia records, dub and a lot recordings of jazz and vocal standards - Ellington, Julie London, Peggy Lee, Nina Simone and such like.

‘Likewise, the work of people we like to call “middle-of-the-road mavericks”- artists who were able to create music that was both very accessible and deeply idiosyncratic and more than a little odd. People like Scott Walker, Serge Gainsbourg, Bacharach and David, Dionne Warwick, Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, Jimmy Webb, Bobbie Gentry, etc. And these influences get filtered further through the “rock” music we like, which is primarily the “artier” end of the spectrum. Stuff like the Velvet Underground and its alumni, Bowie, Roxy Music, Sparks, Joy Division, The Banshees, The Associates, Soft Cell, The Smiths, The Pet Shop Boys, Suede, Broadcast, Goldfrapp, etc.

‘Jonny described our sound as “glamorous easy listening music” initially. I loved that. Jonny and I are really attracted to glamorous sounds. We love orchestrations - strings sections, and french horns and flutes. We dig those gleaming, cold textures of synthesizers from the 1970’s.

All the things that you’re supposed to reject if you’re into music that is “true” and “real”.  We dig artifice.’

Jonny: ‘Yes - we had pretty much all these things in common as interests from the start. I will never shake off the Smiths/Postcard/C86 influences I had when I started to play guitar, but there has always been cross-fertilization - from playing in orchestras and ensembles to collecting old easy listening, Latin and Brazilian records.’

Robert: ‘And our music tends to drift into the shadows, as it were. Traditionally - until the last century, really - “glamour” was an occult term. Its a synonym for “spell”.  One casts a glamour. And that connection to magic also suggests a sense of mystery - I think. Nothing can be truly glamorous without an element of darkness or strangeness. All my favorite music has some eerie, even creepy, aspect. And I find a lot of classic horror and science fictions films - like Forbidden Planet or Suspiria or The Bride of Frankenstein - wildly glamorous. Star Trek  and Space: 1999 likewise.’

Their first performance as Misty Roses took place in an old East Village Buddhist tea house. Jonny played guitar and backing tracks, while Robert “channeled Dusty Springfield”. For both, it was a moment of magic, and the promise of greater things seemed almost within reach. Almost….
 

”Starry Wisdom” from ‘Villainess’ by Misty Roses
 
More from the fabulous Misty Roses, plus bonus tracks, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Watch the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid
09.23.2011
07:25 pm

Topics:
Activism
Art
Economy
Kooks
Media
Music
Pop Culture

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Was it a case of more money than sense that led Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, formerly of the KLF, to burn 1 million pounds sterling on the Isle of Jura in 1994? It’s a question neither man has fully answered.

After the event, both said they wouldn’t talk about it for twenty-three years. Since then, Drummond has spoken about it twice: once in 2000, when he said he was unrepentent; then in 2004, when he admitted to the BBC he regretted burning the cash.

The money allegedly came from royalties Drummond and Cauty made through the success of their band the KLF - the world’s most successful band in 1991. After retiring from music, Drummond and Cauty reunited the K Foundation, and established an award for the “worst artist of the year”, which they gave as a £40,000 prize to that year’s Turner Prize winner, Rachel Whiteread.

The following year, the pair carried out their biggest stunt - burning a million quid of their own money.

Was it real? Did they actually burn a million? Or, was the money bogus?

One theory suggests it was all a hoax and the notes burnt had been intended for incineration, being purchased from the Bank of England by the K Foundation for £40,000.

Seems possible, but Drummond and Cauty were accompanied by journalist Jim Reid who wrote the whole event up in the Observer newspaper:

“The money is not beautiful, and it is only intimidating for a while. It is impossible, looking at it, to imagine what you might buy with it. Four bundles for a nice flat in Chelsea, the whole lot for a lifetime not working. It doesn’t look that impressive. The next thing you feel is the need to do something, not to let it just stand there. Because, of course, I, like anybody else with healthy appetites, want it.

“Lying on the floor in its proud plastic packages, the money represents power. But it is a power that is painfully vulnerable. Cauty separates two fifties from a bundle, hands one to Drummond, and taking his lighter, lights them both. Despite the rain and wind outside, the money is going to burn. In fact, nothing could burn better.

“Drummond is standing to the left of the fireplace throwing fresh bundles in, Cauty is to the right, screwing up three or four fifties at a time. After five minutes their actions become mechanical, almost like it is peat or coal that they are fuelling their fire with. But this is going to take some time. ‘Well that’s OK,’ says Cauty, rolling a cigarette. ‘It’d take a long time to spend it. Can I spend an hour out of my life to burn a million quid? (Drummond laughs)... All the time you say about things: ‘I haven’t got the time to do that.’ Well, I’ve definitely got time to do this.’

“The fireplace is a rough affair. Occasional fifties get wedged in crevices above the fire before they eventually fall down to be destroyed. Cauty is poking at the fire with a stick, moving the bigger bundles into the heat. Whole blocks of 50 grand remain resolutely unburnt: singed, charred, but perfectly legal. We have a bottle of whisky with us and it is passed round as if nothing could be more natural than burning £1 million on a remote Scottish island in the middle of the night. This is the truly shocking thing about the evening. It almost seems inevitable.

“It took about two hours for that cash to go up in flames. I looked at it closely, it was real. It came from a bona fide security firm and was not swapped at any time on our journey. More importantly, perhaps, after working with the K Foundation I know they are capable of this.”

A few days later, a total of £1500 in charred notes were washed up on the shores of Jura, much to the islanders’ disgust.

Did they actually burn £1m? And what did it mean? Julian Cope called the stunt “intellectual dry wank”, while the Observer in 2000 returned to it stating:

“It wasn’t a stunt. They really did it. If you want to rile Bill Drummond, you call him a hoaxer. ‘I knew it was real,’ a long-time friend and associate of his group The KLF tells me, ‘because afterwards, Jimmy and Bill looked so harrowed and haunted. And to be honest, they’ve never really been the same since.”

Watch the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid questions our strange and fetishistic relationship with money - who has not considered how they would spend a million? - as it reaffirms a moral responsibility wealth (in any form) brings, by exploring a one-off event that now runs counter to the current global obsession with failing banks, bankrupt economies and corrupt financial markets.
 

 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
TED Talk: Lauren Zalaznick on the conscience of television
09.22.2011
05:43 pm

Topics:
Pop Culture
Television
Thinkers

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NBC-Universal Entertainment’s Lauren Zalaznick, head of cable’s Bravo network, delivered this brilliant, thought-provoking talk at TED Women on the ways television mirrors our national psyche. In it, she discusses the findings of an unusual study that correlated five decades’ worth of data about what we were watching with what was going on around us in a larger societal sense.

Zalaznick is someone who obviously must think a hell of a lot about these matters, yet the peanut gallery on YouTube has been unkind to her thesis, as if she was presenting it as hard science, which she’s not. Yes, there’s a fair amount of educated conjecture going on here, but there are a lot of valid directions she opens up that research like this could take. I, for one, found this talk fascinating (It would make a great book, too).
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Punk: The Sex Pistols First TV Documentary from 1976
09.22.2011
05:41 pm

Topics:
Heroes
History
Music
Pop Culture
Punk
Television

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British journalist and TV presenter, Janet Street-Porter has always had a finger on the pulse, been ahead of the curve, you know, has always been able to avoid a cliche. Her career as a TV journalist in the 1970s put most of her contemporaries to shame, as she brilliantly explored subjects and cultural trends the mainstream decidedly ignored. The week Chicago were at number one in the UK’s Top 40, with the vomit-inducing “If You Leave Me Now”, dear Janet was out making the first TV documentary on The Sex Pistols, The Clash and Punk Rock.

Broadcast on 22 November 1976 as part of The London Weekend Show, Janet’s film “Punk” featured interviews The Sex Pistols (still with Glen Matlock), a band called Clash (before they added a ‘The’) and Siouxsie Sioux. The Pistols also perform “Pretty Vacant”, “Submission”, “Anarchy in the UK” and “No Fun”.

There’s some drop-out, and the video tape is a bit mashed at the start, but otherwise, this is an important moment in pop culture history.
 

 
Previously on DM

Post-Pistols, pre PiL: John Lydon interview, 1978


How ‘Network 7’ televised a Revolution


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Legend of Leigh Bowery
09.20.2011
06:43 pm

Topics:
Art
Fashion
Heroes
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:

image
 
The Legend of Leigh Bowery is a brilliant documentary about a brilliant man.

Directed by Charles Atlas, the film covers Bowery’s life and times from his suburban beginnings in Sunshine, Australia, to his fame on London’s club scene in the 1980s and his success as one of the most influential and daring fashion designers in the past thirty years.

The Legend of Leigh Bowery has incredible archive footage and excellent contributions from Michael Clark, Sue Tilley, Michael Bracewell, Richard Torry, Donald Urquhart, Damien Hirst, Boy George and Leigh’s wife, Nicola Bowery.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Leigh Bowery interviewed by Gary Glitter from ‘Night Network’, 1989


 
Watch the rest of ‘The Legend of Leigh Bowery’, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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