Lou Reed and Metallica in hit and run accident leave White Light/White Heat dead on the side of the highway - rock and roll road kill.
Everything about this is just plain wrong, from Metallica’s dunderhead playing to Reed’s total inability to find the pocket of the song…which is understandable because there is none. What is not understandable is why Reed continues to trash the Velvet Underground’s legacy. Can the surviving members of VU get a cease and desist order?
This is like watching a beloved friend racing toward the edge of a cliff in an out-of-control 1978 Ford Pinto - a sense of helpless dread overcomes you as you avert your eyes and pray for Divine intervention.
Just when you think it couldn’t get worse, Loutallica shows you just how bottomless the pit is. And that Lars fuck should have his hands bound with chicken wire and never allowed anywhere near a drum kit.
“If all this makes you feel sorry for him, then you can compliment yourself on being a real Lou Reed fan. Because that’s exactly what he wants.” Lester Bangs, 1973.
In this genuinely heartwarming video, Henry Rollins officiates the wedding of Page King and Stephen Hart at last weekend’s Fun Fun Fun Fest.
I’ve never cared much for Rollins’ post Black Flag schtick, but he sure as hell makes for a charming minister as he leads this sweet couple from Dallas, Texas through their marriage ceremony. Henry does the delicate job of balancing wit with spirituality while adding a dose of rock n’ roll energy to the conventional solemnity of the marriage ritual. It looks like everyone is having fun.
I wonder if Rollins has done this before? He’s always been a preacher of sorts but this is taking it to a whole other level.
Revolutionary chic is back in a big way these days and it just warms my heart..We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists is an upcoming documentary from Luminant Media that will tell the story of today’s online cyber activists “Anonymous” by tracing the origins of the movement from the earliest days of the incipient hacker scene to the present day. “We Are Legion is promised in 2012 so… expect it.
You can’t take a snapshot of an event like this, because of its time length; you have to think of it as a dynamic. In any population there are births, deaths, in-migration, and out-migration. For the Occupy Oakland General Strike, there were no births, thankfully no deaths, but a lot of in-migration and out-migration.
What was so amazing about the size of the crowd both inside the plaza and just outside of it, then marching to the Port of Oakland, was that it did not decrease in size; it increased. And that was with some people leaving it, and others coming in from BART and from around Oakland via foot or other parts of the Bay by car.
For that to happen all day long and considering the capacity of the plaza and the crowds outside of it points to 100,000 people. I’ve never seen anything like that in the entire history of this city.
And that is why it must be said that much of the media should be drawn and quartered for the most irresponsible coverage I’ve ever seen. Many outlets just waited for something bad to happen, or looked for it. But there were so many people more having a great time, that whatever happened was far away from downtown Oakland.
The Whole Foods Oakland Facility is on 27th and Harrison and outside of downtown Oakland, and a good mile away from City Hall Plaza. But to the media eye, the vandalism that happened there made headlines. Let’s just get this out of the way: it should not have happened, but that’s no excuse to get the whole story wrong.
The video below is all the proof anyone would need that the official numbers were way, way off, but 100,000? Oakland’s population is around 300,000, even accounting for the folks who came in from the rest of the Bay area (population 4.5 million) to march, that’s still probably too high a number to be realistic. Still, I’m willing to go along with a tally that’s several times higher than what the Oakland police—and the mainstream media—told us.
What’s important to remember as you watch the size of these marching masses, is that less than two months have passed since Occupy Wall Street began. It’s only going to get more interesting from here on out.
Above, a bird’s eye view of a static crowd of 90,000 people at the Rose Bowl posted by redditter BdotTS.
Texas has been suffering through a drought for what seems like an eternity. The past year has been the driest since 1895, when the state began keeping rainfall records. Not even Rick Perry’s prayers have brought a respite from the desert-like conditions in my neck of the woods, Austin.
In this collection of photos shot by my wife Mirgun Akyavas at this past weekend’s Fun Fun Fun Fest you can see how some folks dealt with the clouds of dust being kicked up by a steady and unrelenting flow of gusty winds. The fans and bands were assaulted all day Saturday by nasty little dust devils and an incessant mouth and nose clogging mineral mist that resulted in some rather stunning fashion statements both utilitarian and expressive.
Nomadic rockers Tinariwen (The Deserts), who hail from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali, arrived from their homeland well-equipped to deal with the gritty conditions in Austin. They must have felt at home in the swirl of sand and dust. Their performance at FFF Fest was a highlight of the three day gathering - soulful, bluesy and beautiful. Check out the live footage of the band after the jump. And if you’re not familiar with their music, the new album, one my favorites of 2011, Tassili, is an excellent place to start. Watching their performance at FFF Fest, I was once again reminded of how every culture has its blues music and how fundamentally similar they are. The music goes deep into something universal - the heart that hurts.
More dust bowl fashion and the deep grooves of Tinawiren after the jump…
This past weekend at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin I met up with Captain Sensible of The Damned for a brief chat followed by filming some of their 35th anniversary show at the festival.
Earlier in the day members of The Damned gathered at the Waterloo Records’ tent to meet their fans. Lead singer Dave Vanian didn’t show up so in a sly bit of punk theater Captain Sensible discreetly grabbed a Vanian look-a-like out of the line of fans and had him fill in for the band’s elusive front-man. Of the hundred or so people who showed up for autographs, only a handful caught on to the ruse. I interviewed the impostor, Jake from Dallas (who was born around the time the band was formed), and as you can see in the video below, he was thrilled to have been Damned for a day.
So, here it is: a bit of Sensible,The Damned performing three of their legendary punk anthems and some faux-Vanian.
Dave Vanian − vocals
Captain Sensible − guitar
Monty Oxy Moron − keyboards
Stu West − bass
Pinch - drums
Shot with my awesomely groovy Sony HDR-XR500.
Damned for a day.
An interview with Jake from Dallas.
(In case you’re wondering, that’s M83 playing live in the background.)
Take your money out of the Evil Empire today! Image via @SKYENICOLAS
Today is Bank Transfer Day, the day to take your money (should you still be lucky enough to have any), transfer it to a credit union, close down your accounts with the big banks and starve them of the oxygen they need to survive: YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY.
Not everyone can be in Zuccotti Park, but YOU CAN DO THIS!
It’s Saturday. Do you honestly have something better to do than fucking over the big banks? I didn’t think so…
DailyKos blogger frustrated1 told a tale of closing his or her bank accounts, along with her sister under the title “The bank said ‘You’ll Be Back.’” I encourage any of you who are doing this today to post your own first person stories in the comments.
One thing I should probably mention is that my sister is a very successful medical doctor. She makes a ton of money. She also had a ton of money in each of these banks. She decided to close these accounts out of solidarity with OWS protesters.
At Wells Fargo, my sister walked up to the teller and politely asked to close her account. The teller said, “No problem.” She pulled up her account and saw the balance and told her that due to the amount she had to speak with the branch manager. The branch manager came out. He was probably 30 years old and was very arrogant. He asked my sister why she wanted to close her account and my sister told him she thought Wells Fargo was part of the problem with the economy. He went thru some talking points about why she shouldn’t move her money, but my sister didn’t back down. When he asked her where she was going she told him that she would be banking at the North Carolina State Employees Credit Union. She isn’t a state employee, but anyone can join if you are related to a state employee. It turns out her husband is. Anyway, the bankster told her “You’ll be back. Credit unions can’t provide the services you need.” We’ll see about that. She withdrew over $200k from Wells Fargo.
Next we went to Bank of America. I closed my last account with hardly any questions asked. Of course, I had taken most of my money out so there wasn’t much left to take. My sister on the other hand had a large balance in multiple accounts. They actually refused to cut her a check for the full amounts. They only gave her 1/3 of her money and told her she’d have to come back to withdraw the rest. They claimed they were only allowed to make checks for a certain amount, and that they had no authority to cut additional checks on the same day. Stupid BofA. She had her check in hand and politely told off the branch manager when he told her she had to come back another day or two to withdraw the rest.
At BofA, we weren’t the only ones closing accounts. There was a line of people. Most had small accounts because they weren’t even being challenged, but she actually had to wait in line to speak with a branch manager.
At SunTrust, the branch manager went off his rocker. He just kept asking her “is there anything I can do or anything I can say to change your mind?” He asked probably twenty times. He even offered to have the market executive meet with her and hear out her concerns. She told him she wasn’t interested. He really looked nervous about it.
We then took the deposits we had to NCSECU. The people there were busy. There were 5 people in front of us in the line to open an account. When my sister got to the front she learned that the credit union actually has a trust company and wealth management services. Neither of us knew that. She is now considering moving her Merrill Lynch (owned by BofA) accounts to the credit union as well. She’s been with her financial advisor for 15 years, so that’s the biggest reason she hesitates.
I have been waiting for a band or an act to put into music all the feelings that have been driving the Occupy movement. Music is still one of the fastest means of spreading a meme, and I think it’s a mark of how truly “popular” a movement has become when it has its own protest music that reflects the anger and desires of the protesters.
It seems rather fitting then that the first large-scale act to do so would be squat-rave and black block veterans Atari Teenage Riot. Alec Empire and Nic Endo’s Berlin-based anarchist mob have been screaming about this kind of thing since the early 90s, and it looks like the world has finally caught up with what they have to say. While personally I would have thought it would be a new act to break through representing a new generation, no-one can doubt ATR’s credentials when it comes to this kind of thing. In fact, maybe in this age of ultra-commodified music it would HAVE to take a more veteran, established act to represent OWS and Anonymous so as to avoid claims of false appropriation?
You have to hand it to ATR though, “Black Flags” is a pretty great tune. I’d say it’s one of their most accessible yet while retaining all that dark techno-punk scuzzy energy we know and love (metal guitars over distorted 909 drums? fuck yeah!). You can hear the track, and download it for free, right here:
The video for ‘Black Flags’ has been put together using footage supplied by fans of the band, and they are still looking for more if anyone reading would like to get involved. Here’s a statement from the Alec Empire / Atari Teenage Riot Soundcloud page:
In the past decade we have witnessed how dangerous corruption can be for ordinary citizens, from Fukushima to the financial crisis, we could even include the current phone hacking scandals in the UK in this. The list goes on. Almost weekly more shocking news is being published. Corporate greed has too often put the lives of people in danger.
Historically, the Black Flag stood for not belonging to a certain Nation State (due to the fact that no national colors were used on it). For the us, it means also that no individual can look at him/herself as superior to others just because of his/her national identity.
The mainstream media often looks at “consumers” and labels them as “apathetic.” But as the protests around the world have indicated, there is more political activism than ever before. And not only that, we see the same activism and energy at our concerts.
Cynics always find many reasons for not doing anything and being miserable. Often they say that the world is too “complex” to get involved. We believe that even though the world is complex, there are some fundamentally powerful ideas. Respect for another human being, for example, is a fundamental idea that grants great power.
If you agree to the basic principles of equality and freedom, join us and make a statement!
If you want to be in the video and show that you support the ideals mentioned above, please send us the following footage:
• Take your mobile phone, webcam or any other camera and film yourself lip-synching the song Atari Teenage Riot - Black Flags (feat. Boots Riley) by Alec Empire/ ATR • Have a black flag in the background, or hold it while you’re lip-syncing. (The black flag motif will link all images together. If you don’t have one to hand, use a black T-shirt, pull it inside out, stick the arms into it…there you go.) • You can choose any location for it. If you want to do it at home, great. If you know a crazy location, do it there. (In front of your school or university? At a shopping mall? With your friends at a party?) • We will use fragments of all videos, which are sent in and ultimately add all of you to the official video. • If you want to support the idea but want to do so anonymously, you can cover your face. No problem.
I love everything about this video of Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone being interviewed for cable TV in Eugene, Oregon on May 2, 1983. Their uncompromising purity is so rare and genuine. When the female interviewer insistently and cluelessly pushes the idea that they will somehow become bored and outgrow their unique style of rock and roll, the guys respond with frustration and disbelief. Why would anyone want to change something that was and is perfect?
At one point Johnny says The Ramones’ career might last a couple of more years. And he’s fine with that. Little did he know. The band continued for almost another 20 years before 3/4s of the band died. I miss them dearly.
During the interview Johnny mentions that MTV rejected their new, at the time, video for “Psychotherapy” for being too violent. Watch the uncut version after the jump.