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‘Who ate my pie?’ David Byrne plays boorish, mustachioed, pie-loving drunk on PBS sitcom


 
The first episode of the PBS anthology series Trying Times (originally called Survival Guide) was directed by Jonathan Demme. “A Family Tree” stars Rosanna Arquette as a science major and aspiring astronaut on a nightmare first visit to her future in-laws’ place. Everything that can go wrong does, but nothing is worse than the behavior of her presumptive brother-in-law, Byron, the boorish pie-hoarder played by David Byrne. “Ask me what’s the most poisonous snake in the world,” he dares her.

I recommend the whole half-hour episode (split into 1 2 3 parts on the YouTube), but the “Who ate my pie?” scene below is a satisfying quick fix of David Byrne acting like a total asshole.

The New Yorker posted this review of “A Family Tree” shortly after Demme’s death.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.13.2017
10:59 am
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Jerry Only’s original (destroyed) Misfits bass can be yours!
07.11.2017
11:47 am
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Misfits mega-fans take note: Jerry Only’s original customized 1979 Rickenbacker 4001 bass, played throughout the Danzig years of the Misfits, is up for auction on eBay.

The bass, which is in pieces barely even usable for spare parts, was smashed by Jerry at an unnamed Misfits show. It is clearly being sold strictly as a collector’s item, and will undoubtedly fetch a princely sum.

The auction description details the item’s provenance:

This was played live throughout the early years of the Misfits. It can be seen in various states of originality in countless photos and videos. First as a typical black Ric with black hardware and then with Double Precision bass pickups, modified batwing-shaped tuners, painted fingerboard with white skull and red bat inlays, and added headstock attachment complete with rubber skull. It was ultimately smashed at a show and thus retired.

The item was acquired from a Misfits collector who had purchased the bass body separately from the rubber skull, which had been picked up by another fan at the show where the instrument was destroyed.
 

 
When the collector told Jerry Only that he had bought this battered bass, Jerry sent him a care package full of old parts: modified bat-tuners, Rickenbacker bridge,  and a P-Bass style pickup.

Also included is the original strap, a small piece of material used as the pickguard, a thumb pick, and as an added bonus, an Ernie Ball/Music Man hardshell case owned by Danzig bassist Jerry Montano.

As of this writing, with 7 days left in the auction, the bidding currently sits at $1,750.00.
 

 
After the jump, more pics plus some rough quality video footage of what might possibly be the very night this bass was destroyed…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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07.11.2017
11:47 am
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If this is Heaven, I’m nodding off: Watch Nick Cave and the Birthday Party dissolve in a druggy haze
07.11.2017
10:58 am
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When director Heiner Mühlenbrock showed up with his cameras to document the tense April 1983 recording sessions for the final Birthday Party EP, Mutiny!, the group was well beyond the verge of druggy dissolution and barely on speaking terms. Mutiny! was cut at Hansa Ton studios in Berlin and the viewer is shown the development of the haunting “Jennifer’s Veil,” one of The Birthday Party’s finest—and darkest—moments on record and Nick Cave adding his vocal to “Swampland” (some truly, truly impressive scream-singing during that bit).

Although he seems pretty sharp here, initially at least, at a certain point, Cave just nods off in the studio… for several minutes. (Maybe he was… tired?)

Mick Harvey told the Quietus:

“From an outside perspective it wouldn’t have looked like our creative juices had dried up, but I can assure you they had! Getting those five or six songs that ended up on Mutiny! out of the writers was really like getting blood out of a stone.”

More after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.11.2017
10:58 am
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The Screamers logo has been stolen for a (Billy Idol-themed?) novelty firework
07.07.2017
10:20 am
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I have often dreamed of a career naming novelty fireworks. How do you describe one particular sparkler that looks almost identical to all the rest of ‘em, in one snappy title? By use of a great stretch of creativity, of course. I’m sure some of you are familiar with much of the web’s “best of fireworks brand names” collections, including clever titles such as the Psycho X-Girlfriend, Nuclear Sunrise, One Bad Mother-In-Law, The Golden Shower, Uncle Sam’s Answer, Forced Entry, and one for the entire family, the Poopy Puppy.

The latest from this year’s Independence Day collection arrives with one for the nation’s imaginary population of patriotic punks. Produced by a company out of Osage City, Kansas (but made in China, natch), the Rebel Yell novelty firework (obviously) packs much of the same punch as Billy Idol’s hit song of the same name. Its description reads:

Three stage whistle cake will leave you screaming more, more, MORE!

It seems pretty obvious that they thought this logo was meant to represent Billy Idol. While this is not the first novelty firework with this name (another contains Confederate flag imagery because there’s a market for that), it is perhaps the first ever to utilize the explosive logo of first-wave Los Angeles electropunk band, The Screamers. The iconic image, which was designed by artist and cartoonist Gary Panter, is almost too perfect for use on a firework that I’m actually surprised it took someone nearly forty years to rip it off!

More after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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07.07.2017
10:20 am
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L7 sell their souls in Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic’s road movie ‘The Beauty Process’
07.07.2017
09:52 am
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Krist Novoselic’s band after Nirvana, Sweet 75, opened for L7 on their tour for The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum. Novoselic cast L7 as the stars of his surrealistic Super 8 tour movie, L7: The Beauty Process, and released it as a now-scarce home video. It’s good fun.

A collection of live clips linked by skits, this vid’s amateurish 8mm vibe recalls Desperate Teenage Lovedolls and In the Beginning Was the End: The Truth about De-Evolution. Musicians and other non-actors ad lib unsteadily through single takes filmed in conference rooms and parking lots.

Because it captured the specific emptiness of its time and place, I think of Gregg Araki’s Nowhere, a movie I last saw in 1997, as a cousin to L7: The Beauty Process. In one scene in the L7 movie, a guy from market research subjects the members of the group to the year’s hot new sounds. It’s a tour of everything awful: confessional singer-songwriters, third-wave ska, and “Nirvana-lite angst crybaby middle-class-white-boy grunge.” Then a record industry sleaze takes the band to lunch and offers them anything on the kids’ menu. Straightforward and entertaining enough, but the scene where the devil himself officiates a graduation ceremony for the four women of L7 is the one you take home. (They are graduating from having souls, I think?) And the live footage is, of course, a blast.

The bullshit copy on the sleeve is a good indication of the picture’s tone:

The Beauty Process is a bonafide Rock ‘n’ Roll film. The sensational rock group, L7, take us on a musical flight into the stratosphere only coming down to burrow deep into the sub terrain of music commerce. Bitter and irresponsible, it is a cautionary tale to those who aspire merging art with commerce. Ultimately, The Beauty Process is a moving inspiration demonstrating personal triumph and liberation in the face of adversity. Including the songs; Fast & Frightening, Drama, Shitlist, Andres & more!!!!

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.07.2017
09:52 am
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Todd Bridges and the ‘Whatchu Talking ‘Bout Willis Experience’ cover the ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ theme
06.23.2017
12:52 pm
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The actor Todd Bridges, best known for the role of Willis Jackson on Diff’rent Strokes, which he inhabited between the ages of 13 through 21, has precisely one credit on Discogs, the exhaustive music recording resource that you’ve probably already consulted five times this week, if not many more times than that. It’s a fascinating one, and actually, his performance pretty much puts the question of why he doesn’t have more music credits in his CV to rest.

In 1997, in the middle of a big era for hastily assembled CD compilations, Which? Records put out an amusing comp called Show & Tell: A Stormy Remembrance of TV Theme Songs, which exploited the marketable idea of having a bunch of punk and thrash bands do covers of famous TV theme songs. The Meatmen contributed two tracks, “Green Acres” and “Mission: Impossible,” Murphy’s Law did the theme to “Zoom” (with DM’s own Howie Pyro on backing vocals), and the Dickies recorded a cover of “Secret Agent Man.” It’s fun stuff—really, how could it go wrong?

The attention-getting bit of business—enough to merit special mention on the album cover, done up to vaguely resemble a copy of TV Guide—was Todd Bridges singing lead vocal on a thrashy cover of the theme song from the show he will never not be associated with. The full credit runs Todd Bridges and the Whatchu Talking ‘Bout Willis Experience cover “Diff’rent Strokes”—the familiar, perky ditty that was co-written by none other than Alan Thicke. 
 

 
Not surprisingly, there was no such thing as the Whatchu Talking ‘Bout Willis Experience, other than that record. The bassist, John Jesse, and the guitarist, Roy Mayorga, at that time were members of a band called Thorn but were rather better known for their work in the influential crust punk band Nausea. Weirdly, Mayorga is credited as playing guitar on this song but is really a drummer.

The rendition lasts a cool 50 seconds, and Bridges….... well, let’s just say holding a tune is not a big part of Bridges’ skill set.

The October 1998 issue of Vibe featured a Q&A with Gary Coleman, Bridges’ diminutive co-star on the TV show, and writer Peter Relic asked Coleman about Bridges’ recent turn as a singer:
 

Vibe: Have you been to a gig of Todd Bridges’ punk band, the Whatchu Talking ‘Bout Willis Experience?

Coleman: You’re kidding! Todd didn’t tell me about that.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.23.2017
12:52 pm
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‘Morrissey Rides a Cockhorse’: The Warlock Pinchers hate Moz, but love them some Satan


 
I first discovered the Warlock Pinchers while working at a record store in East LA. Buried among the piles of LPs that circulated through the store daily was what I personally consider to be one of my most treasured “finds”: the delightfully titled record, Morrissey Rides a Cockhorse. Nowadays, the lack of impulse record shopping doesn’t allow for much discoverability. I’m guilty of it, too—it’s much too easy to see an album that looks kinda cool staring back at you from the bin, but then to preview it online before you would consider buying. I guess that’s what happens as the $$$ sticker-shock for rarer records sets in. Needless to say, when someone wanted to sell off their copy of Morrissey Rides a Cockhorse, I have no choice but to blindly take the dive.
 

 
The Warlock Pinchers sound like a blend of Big Black, Butthole Surfers, and the Beastie Boys; all presented in a fury of adolescent shenanigans. The punk hip-hop pranksters and self-proclaimed “Official Sound of Satan” were the kind of people who enjoyed pissing off their fans—and if you weren’t a fan, then “fuck you!”
 

 
Sharing a record label with the Melvins, opening for the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and once having had their record reviewed by Damon Albarn for NME, sadly the band did not pick up much steam outside of their hometown of Denver, Colorado. If anything, their alleged commitment to the devil was the one thing that helped give them some form of notoriety outside of their local scene, as if spraying flames around small clubs and giving their audiences muffins and pancakes wasn’t quite enough.
 

Blur reviews Warlock Pinchers at the NME office, 1991

Fire by Nite was a Christian youth variety program that operated out of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the late eighties. By presenting in a context of “relatable” youth material, the show oftentimes tackled highly controversial subjects that have plagued (or improved) the lives of many young Christians, namely drugs, sex, and the devil. “Satanism Unmasked” was a multi-part special that saw the “real-life” testimonies of self-confessed former Satanists like Mike Warnke (later disputed as a fraud) and Lauren Stratford (ditto), and hosted a bizarre conversation with convicted murderer, Sean Sellers. Slayer is spoken about briefly, but they are quickly dethroned as a bunch of charlatans; using the devil for their own shock-value appeal.

The highlight is the exposé of Warlock Pinchers, who dismiss Jesus as the real source of evil, in favor of Satan, “the good guy.”

Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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06.23.2017
12:39 pm
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Wild things: Were the Troggs the very first punk band?
06.22.2017
10:26 am
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Quick! Who was the first punk band? The Sex Pistols? The Ramones? The MC5? The Stooges? Suicide? That’s a parlor game lovers of rock music can play for hours and hours—or disdain entirely as irrelevant, if that’s your bent.

No matter where you stand on the issue, it might interest you to know that in December 1972, before three of those bands had so much as released a note of recorded music, the New Musical Express in England had its own idea of who the first punk was, and the answer—as well as the question itself—might surprise you.
 

Mild things?
 
Their proposition was that it was the Troggs. You know, the band that did “Wild Thing.” The Troggs were headed by Reg Presley, and by 1972 the group was truly struggling in an era dominated by funk, prog, and glam. Well, we’ll get to that.

The article, by Pete Phillips, highlighted an uptick in Troggs interest in the U.S. and posed the question why that was not happening in the U.K. as well. The article kicks off with an explicit frame of the Troggs as a much-needed antidote to the up-and-coming impulse of glam rock—er, “the Bowie-Bolan syndrome”—which is defined by “glitter, eye-shadow and platform heels.” It’s interesting that punk is so strongly identified as a conservative impulse, a “basic” reaction to the “fancy” stylings of the glam movement. When the real punk movement hit in the mid- to late 1970s, it was often placed in opposition to (a) overblown studio-oriented rock like the Eagles, and (b) disco. The Troggs were self-consciously presented as Neanderthals, a thudding, crude—and catchy—rebuke to fancy music of any stripe.

What’s fascinating about Phillips’ article is that anyone would have been asking the question in the first place—it implies an active debate on the question. What’s clear is that the term punk was of quite recent vintage. In March 1970 the Chicago Tribune quoted main Fug Ed Sanders to the effect that his solo album was “punk rock—redneck sentimentality”—this is widely regarded as the first use of the phrase. Such references are scattered all over the early 1970s. Suicide advertising a November 1970 gig with the phrase “punk music,” Lester Bangs calling Iggy Pop a punk, Lenny Kaye describing what we would today simply call garage rock bands as “classic garage-punk.” For Christ’s sake, Ellen Willis was using the term in the pages of The New Yorker. It was a thing, and everybody had a different take on what “punk music” was and what it meant. It was, in short, a moniker looking for a movement. A certain kind of music fan was looking for something, but didn’t quite know what it was.

Kaye’s “garage” association is clarifying here. Later years, with the addition of politics, safety pins, and breakneck (i.e. sloppy) guitar work, would render the designation of the Troggs as the world’s first punk band just a bit absurd, but they clearly did have a fuzzy, loud sound and they did have some hits. Phillips describes the Troggs as “that nasty, lumpy group with the parted thighs and the loud, dirty music.” It’s worth reading the item in full, which you can below.

I’ll never have as good a chance to tell this story, so here it goes: In the early 1990s I was living in Vienna and I DJ’d an event, a birthday party for a prominent Austrian journalist. I didn’t have many LPs at my disposal and what I had was mainly classic rock, but I did the best I could. As the hours passed and the revelers danced (and got drunker), eventually I heard this highly inebriated male voice bellowing “DIE TROGGS!! SPIEL DIE TROGGS!!” at me. I looked down from the booth and who should it be but the leader of Austria’s Green Party, the equivalent to Jill Stein, if you will, desperately wanting me to put on some Troggs—which I didn’t have with me. I guess the Greens are used to setbacks, huh. 

I can’t think of the Troggs without remembering that moment.

Here’s the article, you can enlarge it for easier reading:

 
More Troggs after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.22.2017
10:26 am
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‘Yes that’s right, punk is DEAD’: Crass and other punk AF fidget spinners
06.16.2017
09:50 am
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Do they owe us a spinning? Of course they fucking do! Crass logo fidget spinner. The final death knell of capital P, capital R, Punk Rock?

As fidget spinners are the latest inexplicable toy fad, the popularity of which most adults find absolutely confounding, I posted a couple of weeks ago about low-rent knock-offs in the style of “Nightmare Feddy,” “Robert Cop,” and “Anna Montana.”


PornHub recently revealed that in a May data sampling, during just a ten day stretch in that month, there were 2.5 million “fidget spinner” searches on their popular porn site, making it the top trending term and 5th most popular search for that month (ON A FUCKING PORN SITE!).

Clearly, these things have taken a place on the cultural zeitgeist mantle.

That brings us to this stupid thing which presented itself in my feed today: a Crass logo fidget spinner.

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume this isn’t “licensed” merchandise, but nonetheless, you can buy it for $6.89 on Amazon. If that’s not anarchy, then WHAT IS?

Crass’ 1978 declaration that “Punk Is Dead,” may or may not have been a true fact, but here we have a prime indicator—something Crass themselves would have called “another cheap product for the consumer’s head.”

The Crass logo fidget spinner was not the only punk rock spinner I found in a casual search, but it’s certainly the most ridiculous. Of course, you may wanna pick one up to give to the next spanging Oogle you see. It’ll give them something to keep them occupied back at the squat. I’ve paired purchase links with a fitting song by the artist, starting with the aforementioned “Punk is Dead” by Crass:
 

 

 
More of these damned things, after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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06.16.2017
09:50 am
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What would Hitler Do?: Notorious ‘80s agit-punks The Feederz return to fuck shit up in the Trump era
06.16.2017
09:22 am
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In the disorienting immediate aftermath of the 2016 US presidential election, a notion I saw expressed so often that it almost felt virally memetic was the idea that “At least with Trump as president, there’ll be great political punk rock again.”

I found this puzzling.

Of course it’s absolutely true that the Reagan era was a musical goldmine for politically-engaged punks, but the arguably worse George W Bush era was notably fallow in that regard—if American Idiot counts as “greatness,” then I guess I don’t need any greatness in my life—and with the debatable exception of the 2004 Punk Voter Rock Against Bush tour, a wishfully grandiose attempt by the pop-punks at Fat Wreck Chords to create a latter-day Rock Against Reagan type of event, no other punk-influenced protest music made all that much of an impression. Going back a minute or two further, not even the stunning and inspiring social movement that emerged from seemingly out of the blue in defiance of the World Trade Organization around the turn of the century seemed to inspire any rebel rock worth discussing—Punk Planet even did a contemporary feature on that notable lack, pity there’s no online archive of that publication.

But though I still expect that the hoped-for renaissance of Reagan-era style protest punk is unlikely to happen, one actual radical band from the Reagan era has reactivated in response to the Trump threat. And it’s one of the MOST radical—Situationist-inspired provocateur Frank Discussion has resurrected his notorious band The Feederz. An unabashed outrage artist, Discussion made his band infamous with confrontational live performances in which he far surpassed even Frank Tovey’s ability to turn himself into an attention-commanding art object, and with stunts like making a sandpaper record cover for their debut album Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss? to ruin other records on one’s shelves, and emblazoning a record called Teachers in Space with a photo of the Challenger disaster.

But after more than 35 years, The Feederz remain best known for the scandalous song with which their existence was announced to the world. “Jesus,” sometimes known as “Jesus Entering from the Rear,” got a widespread hearing when it was featured on the epochally crucial hardcore compilation Let Them Eat Jellybeans. That song sought to tweak right wing Evangelical Christians with lyrics describing The Savior™—or his corpse—engaged in rough gay sex, going way over the top by calling him “Another stupid martyr with another rectal rash” and “Just another faggot in just another mask.” Though it’s indisputably a classic, due to major values dissonance the song hasn’t aged so gracefully, and there is zero doubt that if it were written today it would be excoriated for implicit homophobia, though that was the opposite of its intent—even for the sake of outrage, Discussion isn’t one to punch down.
 

 

 

 
After a long absence from punk rock, the Trump disaster prodded Discussion to begin writing new songs again, and he assembled a band to record two of them in January, with Meat Puppets bassist Cris Kirkwood producing. The Feederz as currently constituted are a trio of Discussion, founding member Clear Bob, and drummer D.H. Peligro, a onetime Feederz member who’s much better known for his tenure in Dead Kennedys. That single was released on April 15 by the Phoenix, AZ label Slope Records (though The Feederz made their mark as a San Francisco band, Discussion is a native of Phoenix and was a presence in the infancy of its punk scene). The single, WWHD: What Would Hitler Do?, sports an unsurprisingly unsubtle cover illustration of Donald Trump affecting a Hitlerian pose and wearing a swastika armband, and it’s fucking good—it’s the most hi-fidelity recording to which the band has ever been treated, and the songs, while they’re thematically of a piece with Discussion’s Reagan-era work, sound like the work of a contemporary band. The A side, “Stealing,” bears an ominous riff and lyrics that champion looting and assaulting police. The flip, “Sabotage,” opens with a chant of “TIME TO PUT THIS COUNTRY OUT OF OUR MISERY,” and includes call-to-arms written in Spanish. Here’s the translation:

What you see with your eyes, destroy with your hands
To be as combustible as a cop car
We don’t need leaders
I love you! Say it with a brick!

 

 
After the jump, the always outspoken Mr. Discussion treated Dangerous Minds to an audacious and lively interview…

READ ON
Posted by Ron Kretsch
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06.16.2017
09:22 am
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