One of the things that can certainly be said for Alan Moore’s various projects over the years, is that they tend to be beautifully packaged and published products. Although often pricey, his dedicated fan base clearly appreciate the effort, as these beautiful objects tend to sell out rather quickly.
Dig Unearthing, his latest, a collaboration with noted photographer, Mitch Jenkins: Lex Records produced the package, which includes two deluxe 180g vinyl records of Unearthing, a deluxe 180g white vinyl record Instrumental EP, three CDs, a poster, a portrait of Moore by Jenkins and a printed transcript.
Unearthing is an audio and visual project uniting legendary comic book writer Alan Moore award-winning photographer Mitch Jenkins and a cast of high- caliber musicians. A story written and narrated by Moore with a mesmerising score from Crook&Flail, Stuart Braithwaite, Zach Hill, Justin Broadrick, Mike Patton and more.
Bleep are proud to be the first retailer to present this deluxe, limited edition box set via Lex Records including the full 2-hour audio reading of Unearthing on CD and heavyweight vinyl, a separate EP of instrumental highlights from the score, a dot-matrix printed transcript, photo portrait of Alan by Mitch Jenkins.
Personally, I think he ought to throw in one of those huge “Camberwell Carrot” joints he’s so famous for, as seen in the photo below:
Swedish singer and self-appointed guru (Thomas) Di Leva is one of the oddest pop phenomenons I’ve encountered in quite awhile. Apparently he’s been a big star in Sweden for the past 30 years and yet I’d never heard of him. I pride myself on knowing a shitload about rock and roll and spiritual materialism, but somehow Di Leva, who embodies some of the best of the worst in both music and new age mumbo jumbo, has flown below my cultural radar all these years.
A cross between David Bowie, Donovan, Meher Baba and Barbra Streisand, Di Leva has released 19 albums, has dozens of videos on Youtube and a trippy dippy website devoted to his mystical teachings. His spiritual organization is called Spaceflower, which he describes with typical new age vagueness:
We are all Spaceflowers with roots in Eternity. Striving to consciously and blissfully flow through the supreme infinite reality. We are all one with the eternal now forever.
And Di Leva humbly describes himself as…
One of the greatest spiritual teachers and music artists in his home country Sweden. With Spaceflowers he is now taking his vision, presence and action globally.
Whether or not he succeeds in his quest to raise the planet’s consciousness or not is yet to be seen, but for now we have glimmerings of something Divine (as in Pink Flamingos) in his music videos and live performances. As much as I’m tempted to write this guy off, I find him actually quite compelling. From his obvious David Bowie vocal influence, new wave synth beats and Summer Of Love lyrics , Di Leva is not particularly original and, yet, he is. He’s a cosmic rip-off artist that manages the trick of making you almost believe in something totally artificial. But, I like artifice and Di Leva is thoroughly entertaining in his own weird, spacey, Swamidelic way. He’s a flower child gone to seed, Jesus in day-glo Laura Ashley drag or Dreamgirl mu mu. An Aquarian Age Adam Ant. Meher Abba.
Visit Di Leva’s Spaceflowers website and for a mere $9.00 you can receive a cosmic transmission via telephone from the Guru himself. He accepts Paypal.
Update 9/16: since posting this last night, the spaceflower.net website has been taken down for ‘construction’. I wonder why? Was it something I said?
Sascha Ciezata’s When Herzog Rescued Phoenix is based on a true story told by Werner Herzog.
Ciezeta also made another film with a similar concept called When Lynch Met Lucas which ran into some problems.
My immensely popular animated short film When Lynch Met Lucas was pulled off Vimeo and several other sites by a certain “organization” (who claims to support the arts and artists) with a rather nebulous claim that they own the copyright to the audio portion of my film.
Here’s When Herzog Rescued Phoenix followed by Where’s When Lynch Met Lucas??, which Ciezata shot on his iphone.
We’ve sorta banned the word “rare” here at Dangerous Minds, because, let’s face it, nothing’s really rare anymore in the digital age. Nothing. Something might be “seldom seen” (we’ll be using that one a lot at DM) but “rare”? Nah, not in this century, bubbee. If there was ever more than two copies of something made, trust me, it’s out there somewhere in cyberspace, and can be located and downloaded with a little effort. Some of the seriously specialist “art house” and “cult movie” torrent trackers have shit so obscure and previously hard to find, that the word “rare,” especially when it comes to digital media just ought to be retired.
How rare or scare can something you don’t even need to move your ass off the chair for (and is normally free, for that matter) be???
It used to be that certain things were difficult to see, but no more. What about, say, the X-rated Rolling Stones documentary Cocksucker Blues. Once one of the rarest of the rare (at least for a watchable copy) during the heyday of the 80s VHS tape trading underground, you can now probably find close to 10,000 torrent files out there in the hinterlands of the Internet. It used to be on YouTube, for fuck’s sake. And again, it’s gone from “rare” to… ahem… free.
Warhol films? That’s easy.
Whenever I’m trying to get across to someone new to the idea of what bit torrent has to offer and exactly what kind of cinematic rarities are out there, the example I usually whip out is Jack Smith’s campy, pervy underground classic from 1963, Flaming Creatures. How many celluloid copies of this film ever existed in the first place? We know that some prints were seized in police obscenity raids, but considering how few places there ever were, historically, to legally be able (and willing) to screen such a confrontational film—subterranean Times Square pre-Stonewall gay porno theaters is the answer—I’d wager fewer than five prints maybe? Flaming Creatures was the limit test case for a rare cult movie. Outside of some institution showing it, or snagging a personal screening as a film scholar at Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan, you could pretty much forget about ever seeing Flaming Creatures.
Until fairly recently. It was even shown on French television.
When Flaming Creatures and another of Jack Smith’s films, Normal Love, were posted on Ubu website, I recall thinking that the paradigm of “rare” was well and truly dead. Another legendary movie that I’d always wanted to see was the At Folsom Prison with Dr, Timothy Leary film, and that I was able to embed in a blog post here last week. Like I was saying, nothing is rare anymore and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Which brings me to George Kuchar and Mike Kuchar, deviant twin filmmakers whose work also used to be difficult to view, but not anymore. The Kuchar Brothers were among the original indie mavericks of 60s cinema. But if you are thinking in terms of a young Martin Scorsese or Roger Corman, guess again. Troma before Troma, would be closer to the mark.
The Kuchar Brothers made silly, smutty, no budget, overblown melodramas and Sci-Fi epics that were part of the “Underground” film movement of the time. Their nearest contemporaries were Andy Warhol, Kenneth Anger and Stan Brakhage, but the space between a Douglas Sirk drama and Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space would seem to nicely define the campy aesthetic continuum the Kuchar’s films exist in. John Waters claims the Kuchar Brothers were bigger influences on him than Warhol, Kenneth Anger or even The Wizard of Oz in his introduction to their (amazing) 1997 book Reflections from a Cinematic Cesspool.
In a time long before YouTube, the Kuchar Brothers borrowed their aunt’s Super-8mm camera at the age of 12 and began making their films: poorly-acted, cheapo productions as much parodies as homages to the Technicolor movies they grew up watching in the 1950’s. The sweetly oddball Kuchar sensibility was also informed by the SF underground comix scene (via friends Art Spiegelman and Zippy the Pinhead creator Bill Griffith) when George ended up teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute. George, the more prolific of the twins, has made over 200 films, mostly with the help of his SFAI students, with memorable titles such as I Was A Teenage Rumpot, Pussy On A Hot Tin Roof, Corruption Of The Damned, Hold Me While I’m Naked, Color Me Shameless and House Of The White People. His best known film is probably the short, Hold Me While I’m Naked.
Mike Kuchar, often in collaboration with his brother and his brother’s students, made films with tiles like Sins of the Fleshapoids, The Secret Of Wendel Samson and The Craven Sluck. He also made an amazing short with Dangerous Minds pal, Kembra Pfhaler called The Blue Banshee and collaborated with gay German underground auteur Rosa von Praunheim.
These days, rare no more, the films of the Kuchar Brothers can be purchased on DVD, downloaded for free from Ubu’s website and are posted on YouTube. There’s even a documentary, 2009’s It Came From Kuchar, which you can stream on Netflix’s VOD. Below, 1966’s Hold Me While I’m Naked:
During the 1980s, Andy Warhol occasionally walked the fashion runways and did product endorsements, represented by the Ford Modeling Agency. This print ad for his friend Vidal Sassoon hair products was a frequent sight in trendy magazines circa 1985.
The Dead Weather’s latest single, “Blue Blood Blues”, will have a limited edition component in the form of an all new Triple Decker Record. Designed by Jack White and assembled by United Record Pressing, the Triple Decker contains a 7” record embedded inside a 12” record. The Triple Decker is limited to 300 copies and are available at Third Man Records in Nashville on Friday Sept. 17, and at finer brick and mortar independent record stores worldwide. 50 copies will also be inserted in random mail order for Blue Blood Blues.
Did Johnny Carson know what he was getting into when his producers asked Jim Henson to perform without Muppets on his show in February 1974?
By the time of the clip below, Henson and his Muppets Inc. crew were five years into what was becoming a hugely successful partnership with the Children’s Television Workshop on the show that would raise Generation X, Sesame Street.
What better time to do something like, say, adapt electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott’s highly trippy piece, “The Organized Mind” as a short live multimedia stage performance? (By the way, the film playing in the background is apparently Henson’s film adaptation of the same piece of music.)