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And now here’s Casey Kasem dressed as Hitler roasting Don Rickles
06.06.2016
09:34 am

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Amusing
Pop Culture

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I was recently researching something when I came across a reference to “Hitler writing all of Don Rickles’ material.” As you can imagine, I instantly forgot about whatever I had been looking for—I knew I had to track this down.

Turns out that the line was a reference to a roast thrown for Don Rickles in 1974 on The Dean Martin Show. Bizarrely, the bit involved Casey Kasem dressing up as Hitler and explaining how pivotal Rickles had been in establishing him—Hitler, not the longtime radio host of America’s Top 40 Countdown—in show business. “Hitler” calls Rickles “a real pussycat” and says that he’s “the only man I know who has bombed more places than I have!”

At the end of the bit, Dean Martin gives the departed Hitler a tasteful Sieg Heil! salute.

This roast of Rickles was broadcast on February 8, 1974, and occurred in the 9th season (!) of The Dean Martin Show, which was an NBC property. Also present at the affair were Kirk Douglas, Phyllis Diller, Telly Savalas, Nipsey Russell, Bob Newhart, and Carol Channing. According to Variety, “Those NBC specials [roasts] were typically hourlong affairs but the Rickles’ roast was so smokin’ that the network let it go 90 minutes.”

I guess Hitler didn’t have any hard feelings about Rickles plundering Nazi gold in Kelly’s Heroes.......
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Cthulhu Priestess: ‘Our Lady of Squid’ figurine
06.02.2016
09:36 am

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Pop Culture

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There’s not too much information about this Cthulhu toy figurine by artist Julian Briones, but how much would you really require? According to the artist’s website, each statue is hand sculpted, hand cast and handpainted. Apparently there are only 20 of these “little ladies” available to purchase. The toy statue stands at 15cm and sells for $75.00.

The artist notes that it takes up to 45 days for delivery of your Our Lady.


 

 

 
via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Hologram’ of George Carlin to perform at national comedy museum starting next year
06.01.2016
11:42 am

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History
Pop Culture

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Shortly after running this post we received the following message from Kliph Nesteroff:
 

A retraction was submitted this morning regarding the hologram. Kelly Carlin has not endorsed the hologram idea. I took a leap of logic. Kelly has been working closely to integrate her father into the museum, and the builders of the museum have been working closely with Hologram USA, however the hologram plans (of which Redd Foxx is one), does not involve Carlin. The comedy center recently put on a tribute to Carlin’s legacy at the Paley Center and announced the enormous donation of Carlin’s archives to the center. George Carlin is a key point for the Comedy Center, but not part of the Hologram USA project as I mistakenly stated.

 
Nesteroff also directed me to this now-updated post from Rolling Stone which has accurate information about the musuem’s plans.

Here is the post in its original form:

It’s no secret that we at Dangerous Minds have long been admirers of George Carlin. I know that Richard Metzger is a big fan, and as for me, let’s just say that watching Carlin at Carnegie on HBO (without my parents’ knowledge, of course) at the age of about 13 was a life-changing event.

On top of that, one of the coolest things DM did in 2015 was run an exclusive excerpt of Kliph Nesteroff’s fantastic book The Comedians, which is chock full of information about Carlin’s career. We love the guy.

The history of the use of so-called “holograms” in the news and entertainment business has seen mixed success, to put it mildly. On Election Night in 2008 CNN broadcast an interaction between Wolf Blitzer and a holographic image of correspondent Jessica Yellin, who was reporting from Chicago, in an inadvertent nod to Princess Leia in a similar scene in the first Star Wars movie. In 2008 a hologram of Tupac Shakur sang “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” at Coachella.

In neither case was the projected image actually a hologram—it’s similar to the artistic license that allows the makers of a certain kind of self-balancing scooter to call it a “hoverboard.”

So ordinarily we’d want to make fun of news that an entity known the National Comedy Center, scheduled to open in Jamestown, New York, in 2017, announced that a “hologram” of George Carlin will “perform stand-up sets” at the museum. But the fact of it being Carlin admittedly has me interested. Recently Carlin’s family donated a massive trove of the comedian’s archives to the museum, which will make these “holographic” renditions of his comedy act possible.
 

 
Almost as newsworthy is the information that the aforementioned Kliph Nesteroff is the chief curator of the National Comedy Center. There is nobody else in the world better qualified for such a position, and we congratulate Nesteroff on the good news.

Nesteroff commented recently that the Carlin family was a major sponsor of the museum and told the Hollywood Reporter that the comedian would serve as the center’s main attraction:
 

The main gimmick to bring people to Jamestown—which you may imagine is not an easy thing to convince people to do—is the George Carlin hologram. So they’re building this fake comedy club in one corner and George will be onstage, performing like old times ... He’s the credibility here. People have tried to do comedy museums before and failed. When you hear “comedy museum” and you’re a comedian, your first thought isn’t, “Oh, that’s cool,” it’s “Oh, that sounds terrible.” But in the comedy community, there are very few who would say that weren’t influenced by George Carlin. It helps.

 
The comedian’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, has donated eight trunks full of script drafts, eight-track tapes, performance videos, and photographs. One fascinating artifact promises to be the report from Carlin’s arrest on charges of obscenity from a 1972 show in Milwaukee.

I first learned about Nesteroff in 2008 after reading a lengthy and engrossing account of Carlin’s early years (1956-1970) on a blog hosted by the WFMU radio station. Nesteroff demonstrated his talent for excavating fascinating information that sheds light on some obscure corners of the comedy world, and he hasn’t let up since. This new position at the library represents some kind of closing of the circle for the energetic researcher, who has conducted countless interviews with many nearly-forgotten comedians whose heyday was several decades ago. 
 
Much more after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The drag adventures of Superman’s pal Jimmy Olsen: Solving crime decked out in a dress back in 1966
05.31.2016
10:58 am

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Amusing
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Back in the day, it wasn’t unusual to see a comic with Superman’s best buddy, red-headed reporter Jimmy Olsen, attempting to disguise himself in order to break a “big story” for the Daily Planet. And back in a special issue focused on the fictional cub reporter from 1966, Olsen decided to dress up in drag in order to get to the bottom of a jewel heist and becomes “Miss Jimmy Olsen.”
 

Intrepid reporter Jimmy Olsen going through his “disguise trunk” for his drag get-up.
 
In the special double issue (one of many times the fictional reporter would dress up like a woman), Olsen is illustrated going through his amusingly titled “disguise trunk” to find the perfect outfit to make his undercover masquerade complete. In order to get close to the criminals he suspects are responsible for the heist, he decides audition to become a member of a chorus girl line and gets the gig thanks to some strategic “padding,” and the fact that it turns out the the young Mr. Olsen had “nice legs.”

Cross dressing Jimmy (or “Julie Ogden” in the comic) catches the eye of bad-guy gangster, “Big Monte” who is instantly smitten with Jimmy/Julie, because of course he is. As the Some Like it Hot-ish storyline progresses, Olsen starts racking up pricey gifts from Big Monte like a fur coat, diamonds and fancy dinners. And, as it turns out, Big Monte isn’t the only red-blooded man who finds Jimmy Olsen’s drag persona appealing—every guy in the comic is trying to catcall their way inside Jimmy’s… dress. The strange story concludes with a cavalcade of weirdness involving a baseball bat-wielding chimpanzee, and that’s all I’m going to say about that as I don’t want to ruin this vintage piece of odd comic book history.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Led Zeppelin perform their first live set on TV, 1969
05.31.2016
09:56 am

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Music
Pop Culture
Television

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Led Zeppelin’s appearance on Danish television in 1969 is one of the classic moments of rock music history. It was Zeppelin’s second time on television but their very first playing a full live set of songs in front of a studio audience—they had previously lip-synched to “Communication Breakdown” for Swedish TV.

What is surprising watching this superb concert is the audience’s lack of response to Zeppelin’s fully charged performance. They sit listening intently showing little enthusiasm for what they’re hearing. For guitarist Jimmy Page this sort of apathy was part of the appeal of launching his newly formed band in Scandinavia:

They don’t cheer too madly there, you know? We were really scared, because we only had about fifteen hours to practice together. It was sort of an experimental concert to see if we were any good. I guess.

 
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An advert for Zeppelin’s first gig together as ‘the Yardbirds med Jimmy Page’ in 1968.
 
Zeppelin first appeared under the name The Yardbirds with Jimmy Page at the Gladsaxe Teen Club in Denmark on September 7th, 1968. They developed their prowess touring Denmark and Sweden over the following months. However not everyone was convinced of this new band as one Swedish reviewer of their early gigs at the Inside Club in Stockholm noted:

It has been up and down for the Yardbirds. A couple of years ago, they were on top. For a while, a lot of people thought that the Yardbirds would lead the developing English pop but their efforts led nowhere.

The members changed and the Yardbirds currently touring Sweden have very little in common with the original line-up. It is not only the line-up that has changed. The style of music is different, as is the quality - only the name is the same.

Friday night they played the Inside. They were so loud it almost hurt. Sometimes playing loud has an important role in pop, but here it was just superficial effect.

More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Technology/Transformation’: Funky ‘Wonder Woman’ mashup from 1978
05.26.2016
10:28 am

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Art
Feminism
Pop Culture

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I was recently on vacation in Vancouver, BC and was lucky enough to take in a massive pop culture retrospective called “MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture” at the gorgeous Vancouver Art Gallery. The show, which took approximately four years to curate, featured a huge array of works from pop culture heroes like filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and many, many others.

One of the many delights the show had to offer fans of pop culture was an almost six-minute video by American video and installation artist Dara Birnbaum, a woman at the forefront of the feminist art movement in the mid-1970s. The video, “Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman,” was made in 1978 and 1979 and features Lynda Carter as her television super-hero alter ego Wonder Woman; explosions, imagery, and audio tracks taken from from her show, which ran from 1975 to 1979; and Carter’s trademark “Wonder Woman” spin—all scored to the show’s own cheese-tastic soundtrack as well as a few added disco fillips. According to Birnbaum, her use of repetition in the video is meant to expose the illusion of “fixed female identities in media” and attempts to show the emergence of a “new woman” through use of technology.

Since I first saw Birnbaum’s Wonder Woman video, I have not be able to get it out of my mind—it’s a strangely compelling and hypnotic piece of work. The video wraps up with an on-screen transcription of The Wonderland Disco Band’s homage to Wonder Woman, “Wonder Woman Disco” which is nearly as fantastic as the video itself. If you’re planning on visiting Vancouver, BC, I highly recommend that you check out “MashUp,” which runs through June 12.
 
“Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman” by Dara Birnbaum:

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘An experiment waiting to happen’: A brief history of ‘Two Tone Britain’
05.25.2016
12:40 pm

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Music
Pop Culture
Reggae

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Jerry Dammers: the father of Two Tone records
 
Two Tone was a specifically British, or more accurately English, musical genre that came out of punk and ska in the late 1970s. The roots of Two Tone can be traced back to the arrival of West Indians to England—the so-called “Windrush Generation”—under the British Nationality Act of 1948. This act gave British citizenship to all people living in Commonwealth countries and full rights of entry and settlement in the UK. With the arrival of these Commonwealth citizens came ska and reggae music, which was slowly adopted by the white working class.

Most youth music is exclusive—it’s old versus young; hip versus square; mod versus rocker; slacker versus yuppie; black versus white. Few musical genres are totally or even try to be totally inclusive—there is a built-in snobbishness that comes with the package. The osmosis of ska and Afro-Carribean culture into the white British culture pointed a way towards a truly inclusive musical genre—Two Tone. It was, as Two Tone singer Pauline Black once said, “an experiment waiting to happen.”

During the 1960s, Skinheads took ska as their own—but the growing racism of the skinhead movement led to their ostracization. Reggae replaced ska—but the skins hated reggae’s laid-back, spliffed-up vibe. Skinheads became suedeheads. Popular music moved onto glam rock, heavy metal, and prog rock. Then punk arrived in 1976. A new generation of youngsters saw that the means of music production could be theirs.
 
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Two Tone pioneers The Specials.
 
Jerry Dammers was a young musician in Coventry. He had been a fellow traveler in various youth movements—a hippie, a skinhead, a punk—but his first love was ska. Dammers took the energy of punk with the rhythms of ska and created a new genre of music known as Two Tone—an inclusive, socially aware, “danceable earfest.” Dammers formed the Specials AKA with like-minded youngsters and the best of local talent. The Specials pioneered Two Tone music. They got a record deal that allowed Dammers to set up his Two Tone record label. Its first release was The Specials with “Gangsters” on the A-side and Pauline Black and the Selecter—a band made up in the studio—on the B-side. Dammers quickly signed up the Beat (a.k.a. the English Beat), London band Madness, Bad Manners, the Bodysnatchers and even Elvis Costello and the Attractions.

Two Tone’s iconic black and white label design (an image created by Dammers that was loosely based on a photograph of Pete Tosh from the Wailing Wailers) was a standard for the fans’ style—a mix of Rude Boy and Mod—baggy suit, white shirt, black tie, and porkpie hat. Two Tone brought black and white together and although The Specials could sometimes be didactic—they sent out a political message that united the young.

The whole story is well told by those at its heart and from those who were most influenced by it in Two Tone Britain—a thoroughly enjoyable documentary that makes you realize what at its best music can achieve. (The video embedded below looks suspiciously unavailable, but we assure you, as of the time of posting, you can click on it and watch it!)
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Instead of diseased lungs, what about putting obnoxious assholes on cigarette packs?
05.20.2016
11:50 am

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Drugs
Politics
Pop Culture

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Starting today, EU regulations require that cigarette packages carry large-format “Shockbilder” (German for “shock-pictures”) on them. You may have seen these before, especially in foreign countries—usually they are super-disgusting medical pictures of diseased lung tissue and things like that.

Such “Gruselbilder” (“gross pictures”) are definitely enough to give one pause, but all in all, they probably don’t affect cigarette consumption all that much. The left-leaning German newspaper taz.die Tageszeitung, however, ran a cover page today with an intriguing take on the issue—taz thinks that putting annoying public figures like Heidi Klum or right-wing politicians like Donald Trump, France’s Marine Le Pen, and Germany’s Markus Söder on cigarette packages might be fiendishly effective. Other pictures taz proposed were Korean leader Kim Jong-un and a thick, green smoothie. Here, look: 
 

 
Donald Trump is so incredibly loathsome that taz hardly deserves credit for including him. Obviously the entire continent of Europe is quivering with dismay at the prospect of a Trump presidency.

I decided to speculate on what the cigarette packs might look like if they were targeted at a U.S. audience:
 

 
I’m pretty bad at Photoshop, but even I was able to alter a few of taz’s examples to get what I wanted. Here’s the original image. I’m sure that the talented DM readership will be able to surpass me in no time at all…...
 
via Kraftfuttermischwerk
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Department S: The cult band who were more than just ‘a bunch of cults’
05.13.2016
11:11 am

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Music
Pop Culture

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The one good thing about music show Top of the Pops was the chance of eyeballing something special, something new, something you might not get the chance to see anywhere else. This could be David Bowie, or Motorhead ripping through their latest number, or Public Image Ltd. or Blondie or Siouxsie and the Banshees throwing pocketfuls of confetti onto the studio audience.

Sometime in early 1981, I was very fortunate to catch a new five-piece band from London called Department S who made a damned fine impression on me with their debut single “Is Vic There?” The track had been played a few dozen times on the radio but I was none the wiser to the who, what, when, where, why of the band.

Taking their name from a cult TV series, Department S looked assured, interesting, had a catchy first single and an iconic lead singer in Vaughn Toulouse. Their music was different to many of the angry disillusioned post-punk bands clogging up the charts—they were upbeat, thrilling, with an almost John Barry Bond-like riff countered by Toulouse’s vocal delivery.

Department S. came out of London’s punk and ska scene. Toulouse had been with a band called Guns For Hire. Guitarist Mike Herbage joined the band and wrote their only single. The group then evolved into Dept. S and was joined by Tony Lordan (bass), Stuart Mizon (drums) and Eddie Roxy (keyboards). In one early interview they described themselves as “not just a bunch of silly cults”—a reference to their crafted individualism.

There’s no particularly dominant member of the band, although Vaughn writes all the lyrics and mostly steals the limelight “Cos I’m the best lookin’ I s’pose.”

“We’re not a group as such,” he continues. “We’re five individuals that make Department S. It’s like a closed-circuit business-sort of a PIL set-up.”

“Is Vic There?” seemed to hang around the chart for ages—as if the public weren’t quite sure about the group, the song, or what to make of the strange attractive Gene Vincent allure of the lead singer—before eventually (thankfully) making it all the way to number 22.
 
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Come summer: Dept. S were playing support and headline gigs around London and working on an album (Sub-Stance) when they released a second single “Going Left Right” on glorious 12-inch. While the B-side “She’s Expecting You” sounded like the same band who had recorded “Is Vic There?” the second single almost sounded like a completely new and different band. It led some music critics to describe Dept. S as “a tricky band to pigeonhole” while giving “Going Left Right” two thumbs up—calling it “far superior” to “Is Vic There?”
 
More from the Department S. file, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Vintage photos of the US Amateur Roller Skating Association
05.13.2016
10:06 am

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Fashion
Pop Culture
Sports

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1967
Skaters from the 1967 U.S.A.R.S.A. (the United States Amateur Roller Skating Association) competition.
 
Although I was an avid roller skater in my youth (as were both of my parents), I had no idea that the the United States National Amateur Skating Association (or U.S.N.A.S.A.) existed. Had I known, I would have immediately run away from home with my brown suede skates (with sweet orange wheels and stoppers) to pursue my dream of being an Olympic Champion roller skater. Regrets, I’ve had a few.
 

USARSA Senior Dance Champions of 1961, Jay & Janet Slaughter of Illinois.
 
In 1937, a Detroit-based group comprised of seventeen roller rink owners formed the RSROA (the Roller Skating Rink Operators Association). The creation of the RSROA didn’t go over that well with the Amateur Athletic Union (or AAU, a national amateur sports organization formed in 1888 who worked with amateur athletes all around the country, helping many on their way to the Olympic Games) as the membership of RSROA included the rink owners themselves and professional skaters. So, in 1939, the United States Amateur Roller Skating Association (USARSA) came to be and became a part of the the good-old AAU.

There were so many competitive categories within the USARSA, ranging from skate-dancing, novice, a curious sub-novice category, and a few for “tiny tots” that could skate (photos from which have been cataloged over at the site USA Roller Skaters), that I can only imagine the competitions themselves were long, grueling events not only for the skaters, but for the fans in attendance. The images in this post provide a fun and fascinating look back in time. Some remind me of the beautiful awkwardness that is the obligatory (and dreaded) senior prom photo. Your good-times roller skating flashback moment, begins now! 
 

Hugh Devore 3rd Place (the outfit is 1st place material all the way), USARSA Senior Men’s Singles, 1956.
 

USARSA Junior Dance contestants, 1953.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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