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An Old Punk Kicks New Ass: The Bob Mould interview
06.25.2014
10:49 am

Topics:
Music
Punk
Queer

Tags:
Boing Boing
Bob Mould


 
bOING bOING’s David Pescovitz got a chance to interview one of his musical heroes—and that would be none other than Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü fame. They talk guitar gear, gay life, story-telling through music, what inspired his new album and the DIY spirit of punk rock. There are also several musical performances.

For 35 years, Bob Mould has been an icon of punk culture. In 1979, he and Hüsker Dü played their first show, paving the way for Nirvana, The Pixes, Foo Fighters, and really the entire realm of alternative rock. Hüsker Dü burned out in 1987, but Bob kept his creative fire burning, releasing more than a dozen albums as a solo artist and with his beloved 1990s band Sugar. Bob has always followed his own path, taking a brief detour as a writer for World Championship Wrestling, embracing his life as a gay man outed later in life, penning a funny and moving memoir titled See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody, playing in the house band for the film Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and supporting numerous righteous causes at every turn. Everything Bob does, he does on his own terms. He is humble, yet takes his legacy very seriously. He is warm, funny, earnest, and wise and continues to inspire young musicians and artists pushing the limits of independent culture.

On the occasion of this month’s release of his latest album, the majestic Beauty & Ruin, Bob Mould kindly spent a day with Boing Boing to share his songs and stories. We are honored to bring that singular experience to you.

Take it away Pesco and Bob Mould…
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Debbie Harry, Ramones, Nick Rhodes, Courtney Love and more on MTV’s ‘Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes’


 
In December of 2010, I visited the Andy Warhol Enterprises exhibit then being held at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It was an excellent full-career retrospective, loaded with rare goodies, and generously tilted toward his early, pre-Factory commercial work, which I prefer to his more famous silkscreens (commence calling for my skull on a pike, I don’t care). But as much as I was enjoying the early books and the blotted-ink drawings of shoes, I was surprised by a trip down amnesia lane that came at the end of the exhibit, a video installation of one of Warhol’s last projects, the show he produced and co-hosted (with Debbie Harry) for MTV called Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes. The name of the show referred to Warhol’s famous quip “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Episodes of the program were actually 30 minutes in length. #themoreyouknow
 

Warhol with Debbie Harry, dressed by Stephen Sprouse.
 
I was an arty kid, so I knew perfectly well who Warhol was (some of my friends only learned of his existence from that show, believe it or not), and so I never missed it. Though it wasn’t too hard to catch them all—as the series was prematurely ended by Warhol’s 1987 death, there were only five episodes, the last of which was mainly a memorial. But while it was on, it was glorious. Although the program featured lots of marquee names, befitting Warhol’s obsession with celebrity and celebrities, it also highlighted NYC downtown fashion, art, and music phenomena. Mind-expanding stuff for a midwestern kid, and stuff which would have otherwise been entirely inaccessible, since Warhol’s previous television ventures, Fashion and Andy Warhol’s TV, were limited to NYC cable.

And unless you visit the Warhol Museum or a traveling retrospective, the program itself is now pretty well inaccessible. Few things have been more damnably hard to find streaming than episodes of 15 Minutes, and to my complete bafflement, the Warhol Museum store doesn’t offer a home video. Much of what little can be found is fuzzy VHS home recordings, but it gives an adequate taste of how deep the show could go—and remember, this was on MTV.
 

 

 
It gets a good bit better with this clip of Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes taking the viewer on a tour of Manhattan nightclubs The Palladium and AREA (note future Twin Peaks actor Michael J. Anderson as the garden gnome.)
 

 
KONK were an amazing dance-punk band of the era. You may recognize the drummer, Richard Edson, an original member of Sonic Youth, and co-star of the Jim Jarmusch film Stranger Than Paradise.
 

 
This Ramones interview ends with a live, not lip-synced, performance of “Bonzo Goes To Bitburg.”

 
The last bit footage I’ve found is a jaw-dropper—an interview segment with a 21ish, pre-fame Courtney Love!
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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See a young Björk rocking out in ‘Rokk í Reykjavík’
06.23.2014
03:02 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Iceland
Björk


 
Rokk í Reykjavík is an Icelandic film made for local television in 1982 that seems like a cross between Penelope Spheeris’ The Decline of Western Civilization and Urgh! A Music War. Like Urgh! it’s a steady stream of band after band, nineteen total, some very good, some awful running the gamut from confrontational SoCal-style hardcore to Joy Division and Wire imitators to one group who look just like Loverboy! Like the Decline trilogy there are lots of interviews with incredibly nihilistic youngsters. (One pint-sized Darby Crash wannabe discuses how a meddling social worker made glue sniffing difficult in Reykjavik, but this led them to discover that gas huffing provided an even better high!)

Seen in Rokk í Reykjavík is Tappi Tíkarrass an incredibly tight punk/pop band led by a young (and super cute) Björk Guðmundsdóttir who have a Talking Heads meet B-52s meets ska meets Gang of Four vibe. Their name, should you be wondering, translates as “Cork the Bitch’s Ass!”
 

 
Also of note here is Purrkur Pillnikk, the punk band of Björk’s future Sugarcube bandmate Einar Örn Benediktsson. The old man chanting a poem at the start is Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson who was instrumental in forcing the Icelandic government to recognize the country’s pre-Christian Norse religion. Sveinbjörn can be heard performing Ásatrú marriage rites for Genesis and Paula P-Orridge on Psychic TV’s Live in Reykjavik double album.

For me, though, other than seeing the young (and super cute, did I mention that?) Björk in action, it’s the WTF avant garde antics of Bruni BB that steal the entire show. Directed by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Christ the Auction: Crass drumhead goes up for auction at Sotheby’s
06.20.2014
12:20 pm

Topics:
Pop Culture
Punk

Tags:
Crass
Sotheby's


 
A stenciled Crass drumhead is going up for auction as part of Sotheby’s rock and roll memorabilia event. The estimate is that it’ll go for between $15,000 and $20,000. The “Presley to Punk” auction will occur on June 24. When I saw this, I have to admit, the collector in me swooned.

It’s a pity that this will probably just end up in some rich asshole’s house instead of in an anarchist museum or some place like that. At least I hope that it’s Penny Rimbaud himself who’ll be getting the money for this (it appears that he signed it recently). If anyone deserves to cash in on their past in this way—I really mean this—God bless them, it’s Crass. No one’s selling out here, they’re just clearing out the garage!

The auction also has some amazing signed items from The Beatles, one of Sly Stone’s vests, a jacket worn by Jimmy Page, several drawings and paintings by Joni Mitchell, as well as guitar straps worn by Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia. A naughty comic strip from a young Jim Morrison and a semi-pornograpic collage made by John and Yoko for Elton John’s birthday in 1975. Several gold records belonging to Mick Jagger, even the Grammy presented to Johnny Cash and June Carter for “Jackson.” There are 145 items in all being auctioned off.
 

Sly Stone’s beaded vest, as seen during his infamous stint as co-host of The Mike Douglas Show.
 

Crosby, Stills & Nash by Joni Mitchell
 

Gary Panter’s original rendition of The Screamers logo

Thank you Luhuna Carvalho!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Ice-T covers Suicidal Tendencies
06.17.2014
07:41 am

Topics:
Amusing
Hip-hop
Music
Punk

Tags:
Suicidal Tendencies
Ice-T


 
This could be viewed as a ballcap-tip between African-American and Hispanic exponents of ‘80s SoCal gang culture. Or I could be viewed as a pasty Jewboy from the Ohio ‘burbs who should seriously just shut his matzah-hole about ‘80s SoCal gang culture. But whatever, this rules!

Ice-T’s notorious rap-rock crossover band (be cool, just because the genre they spawned sucked balls doesn’t mean they did, but if that’s how you wanna play, go ahead and blame Eno for new age) Body Count released their new album Manslaughter last week, and it features a cover/update of “Institutionalized,” the classic and definitive 1983 Suicidal Tendencies song that pushed hardcore perilously close to the American mainstream. But instead of ST singer Mike Muir’s litany of parents-don’t-understand grievances, Ice-T airs 21st Century complaints about Xbox, Oprah Winfrey, ISP customer service, nosy co-workers… it’s pretty nuts.
 

 
For comparison’s sake, here’s the original, from Suicidal Tendencies’ debut LP.
 

 
And because it almost feels obligatory, here’s Ice-T ranting about somewhat more serious matters on “Cop Killer,” the song that made Body Count so notorious to begin with.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Kiss My Baadasssss: Ice-T’s guide to Blaxploitation

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Germs drummer Don Bolles is selling off his old punk flyers
06.11.2014
03:03 pm

Topics:
Advertising
History
Music
Punk

Tags:
Germs
Don Bolles

Don Bolles
Butthole Surfers, Descendents, Big Boys, 1982
 
Don Bolles, drummer from the legendary LA punk band The Germs is selling off some choice ephemera over at punkflyer.com. Some of the best things have been sold, but there’s plenty left. Seventy-five bucks isn’t a terrible price for an original Black Flag flyer, right?

These lineups are enough to make my head spin: Black Flag/Bangles/Redd Kross on the same bill? Butthole Surfers/Descendents/Big Boys? Shiiiit.

Plus, Bolles says that he’ll be “adding more flyers on a daily basis,” so by all means, check the listing again and see what’s popped up since your last visit.
 
Don Bolles
Consumers, 1978
 
Don Bolles
The Fall, The Dull, Silver Chalice, Geza X, 1980
 
Don Bolles
The Feelies, Human Hands, 1981
 
Don Bolles
Circle Jerks, Stingers, Rhino 39, Runs, 1981
 
Don Bolles
Wasted Youth, 1983
 
Don Bolles
Black Flag, Redd Kross, Bangles, 1983
 
Don Bolles
45 Grave, Bad Religion, Pandoras, 1984
 
Don Bolles
“What is 45 Grave?” booklet, 1984
 
Don Bolles
Sonic Youth press kit, 1988
 
The Germs, live at the Whiskey, 1979:

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Black Flag is for the children!
06.10.2014
10:58 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Black Flag
Greg Ginn
Mike Vallely


 
Increasingly notorious and tedious Black Flag honcho Greg Ginn may have found a redemptive moment to counter his ongoing quest to debase the name of his second greatest contribution to the world (the greatest being SST records, in case you actually had to ask). At the end of last week, the news began to spread that the band, now made up of Ginn and former pro skater Mike Vallely, will perform a “stripped-down” show of Black Flag songs—for kids.
 

 
The all-ages (duh) show is on Tuesday, June 17, at 6 pm, at Reggie’s in Chicago, and I really wish I could be there! Imagine relatively quiet, kid-friendly versions of “Rise Above,” “TV Party,” “Black Coffee,” “Police Story,” “Slip It In”… well, I guess probably not those last two. Who knows, maybe in bare-bones form, the piss-poor, Black-Flag-in-name-only dross from last year’s reunion abortion What the… might not totally suck.

Here’s some live footage of Black Flag when they mattered, a late Rollins-era performance from the Michigan cable program Back Porch Video.
 


 
Previously:
What the… Ron Reyes out of reconstituted Black Flag

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Lou Man Group exists and seems pretty brilliant, and that’s about all we can tell you about them


 
In recent weeks, when former child star Macaulay Culkin’s headache-inducingly stupid vanity band—the now infamous pizza-themed Velvet Underground “tribute” called The Pizza Underground—was booed and bottled off of a UK festival stage and subsequently canceled its tour, most sane observers were heard to say (in my imagination, anyway) “WHEW! Guess that’s the last we’ll hear of high concept, non-sequitur Lou Reed related cover bands.” But such declamations would have been premature—for on the horizon, a challenger appears, and it’s a credible challenger.
 

 
All I have to share with you is this: a flier exists advertising an appearance by Lou Man Group (there’s no way this joke needs explaining, right, we all know about Blue Man Group?) this past Saturday at L.A.’s Cowboy Gallery, whose FB page says exactly squat about such an event. The “band” has a web site with a video and a few photos, which directs the reader to an equally sparse Facebook page, just established in March. About all that can be said for sure is that this Lou Man Group probably has nothing to do with Lou Piniella’s. Their YouTube channel so far boasts all of two videos, the weird and insidery “The Manager,” and a lengthier advertisement for the group that features actually really cool and worthy versions of “Vicious,” “Foggy Notion” and, unsurprisingly, “Walk On The Wild Side”.
 

 

 
So did any DM readers attend this show? Is this a real band, and not just a clever tease? I’m really keen to know what’s up, because I LOVE THIS.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Happy birthday to Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs
06.05.2014
12:17 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Psychedelic Furs
Richard Butler


 
Psychedelic Furs singer Richard Butler turns 57 today, June 5th, 2014, and we at DM wish him a very happy birthday!

The Psychedelic Furs made a deft transition in the ‘80s, from spiky (but highly appealing) sax-enhanced post-punk to a pop sound that made them darlings of MTV and even mainstream radio. Their self-titled debut album is as strong a statement of purpose as you’ll ever hear from a new band, and their second, Talk Talk Talk, is absolutely essential, as it’s the home of the fantastic song “Dumb Waiters.” (That album also provided the theme song and title for a John Hughes movie with the wrong ending, dammit.)
 

 
After their third LP, Forever Now (which featured Turtles/Zappa singers Flo & Eddie on backup vox and Todd Rundgren on synths), their music became increasingly polished and more broadly appealing, though still of high quality—their 1988 single “All That Money Wants” is among the finest songs they ever made. They disbanded in 1991, whereupon Butler and his guitarist brother Tim formed the band Love Spit Love, who released two kinda decent albums in the ‘90s. The Furs have since been resurrected as a touring act, but not a recording one. All of Richard Butler’s newer songs have been released under his solo imprimatur. And it’s really good stuff, I recommend seeing him on tour if you haven’t yet.

Here’s some great footage of the Furs on that amazing Spanish TV show La Edad de Oro, from 1984. It’s broken up into a playlist so you can skip around between songs.
 

 
Previously:
Psychedelic Fur Richard Butler talks painting
The Psychedelic Furs before that Molly Ringwald film and those Billy Idol haircuts, live 1981

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes, college jock
06.04.2014
09:02 am

Topics:
Music
Punk
Sports

Tags:
Butthole Surfers
Gibby Haynes

Gibby Haynes
 
It don’t get a whole lot better than this. Many people have seen that news story from the 1970s of Guided By Voices frontman Bob Pollard throwing a no-hitter in college. Quite recently we posted a pic of a newspaper article about Stephen Malkmus, later of Pavement, from his high school days describing his exploits of playing in a punk band and also playing soccer for the high school team.
 
Gibby Haynes
 
But it turns out that Gibson “Gibby” Haynes of the Butthole Surfers was a star forward for his basketball team when he attended Trinity University in San Antonio. That’s right: The mastermind behind Locust Abortion Technician and Rembrandt Pussyhorse averaged 11.5 points a game and 4.7 rebounds as the starting forward on Trinity’s team. As we can see, Gibby was an “Accounting and economics major,” which makes sense given that he once landed a gig at a top accounting company in the area. Note that he also made the Dean’s List—kids, stay in school and you too can become as upstanding a citizen as Gibson Haynes!
 
Below, the full Blind Eye Sees All live concert video, shot in Detroit in 1985.
 

 
via WFMU and Marc Masters

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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