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Unknown hero of rock ‘n’ roll: Soul singer, percussionist Vin Cardinal, R.I.P.
09.24.2016
06:20 am

Topics:
Music
R.I.P.

Tags:
Vin Cardinal and The Queens


 
Vin Cardinal’s son announced Friday on Facebook that Cardinal has died at the age of 83. While Cardinal never made it big in America, he had a devoted following in Scandinavia and Europe for decades.

A superior soul singer and percussionist, Vin Cardinal left his home in Trinidad and moved to Sweden where he became a pop star in the 1960s. With his band The Queens, Cardinal toured throughout Europe and recorded several albums which were regional hits. In the early 1970s, he moved to the States and signed with Motown but never attained the popularity in America that he enjoyed overseas.
 

 
This beautifully shot 1967 film footage of Vin and The Queens performing at the Bilzen Jazz And Rock Festival in Belgium is one of the coolest things ever. The Queens are divine and Vin is a knockout of a singer. A power trio delivering some delicious garage soul. This performance alone should be enough to secure Cardinal a spot in R&B’s storied history.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
New Wave: Peek inside ‘Bogey’s Underground Fashion’ catalog from the good old 1980s


A page from the vintage fashion catalog ‘Bogey’s Underground Fashion,’ late 80s, early 90s.
 
Today I have for you something that I know many of our readers will recall coming across back in the mid to late 80s: a catalog catering to goth, “new wave” and punk style clothes sold by the New York-based company “Bogey’s Underground-Fashion From London.”
 

 
Back in the Boston-area during the 80s (where I was busily stomping around at the time) there were several shops in Cambridge that catered to the crowd who wanted their clothes to be black and tight with zippers and holes in all the right places. I spent A LOT of cash at the Allston Beat (RIP) in Harvard Square. To this day I refuse to get rid of the few pieces I still have that I purchased there back in the late ‘80s.

Much of the clothing and shoes sold by Bogey’s appeared to be from London (specifically pieces from “BOY of London”). Additionally, they sold their own “Bogey’s” brand which I will cautiously assume might have been designed in the company’s former home-base at 767 5th Avenue in New York. I can also tell you that looking at these images (best viewed whilst listening to Bauhaus, Adam & the Ants or Alien Sex Fiend) you may wish that Bogey’s awesomely cheesey 800 number, “1-800-YO-BOGEY” still was in operation, as they called it a day back in the early spring of 1993.
 

 

 
More pages from Bogey’s Underground-Fashion From London catalogs after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘He was like a walking hit of acid’: Remembering Rex Thompson of the Summer Hits (1968-2016)
09.14.2016
11:59 am

Topics:
Fashion
Music
R.I.P.

Tags:
Los Angeles
Surfing
Mixtapes

Rex in the Sea of Cortez, Baja Mexico 2001
Rex in the Sea of Cortez, Baja Mexico 2001 Sasha Eisenman/Sun-Godz
 
In the early 1990’s a 22-year old surfer kid from Newport Beach hit the L.A. music scene and turned it inside out. Rex Kingsley Thompson (nickname: “Tatarex”) was a thin, cool, attractive, 6’4” tall creation that looked like he had just arrived in a time machine. His band The Summer Hits released a handful of singles between 1992-1996 and were played on BBC Radio 1 by legendary deejay John Peel. Then like a flash, Rex left southern California for Europe without a penny in his pocket where he spent twelve years exploring chic, tropical islands and castles with beautiful women of royalty. Last week the news of Rex’s passing at the age of 47 hit the internet and saddened thousands of friends and followers who recount his super unconventional lifestyle and profound cult-like influence on people everywhere he went.
 
Known around skateboard parks for always drinking pink lemonade, Tatarex was also somewhat of a local at “The Wedge” in Orange County, a surfing spot just off the end of the Balboa Peninsula popular for its big waves and laid-back lifestyle. As a mohawked youth back in Glendora, Rex had originally intended to be a tennis player but once he hit his 20’s and left home he began shifting his focus towards other interests such as fashion, the beach, music, and recreational drug use. “He walked around like he was this psychedelic blue blood sometimes. You know what I mean? Because he was always asking everybody about their fashion, and clothes, and hygiene, and appearance. He didn’t judge you he would just kind of point people in the direction of the finer things in life. Not just expensive things, but the things that make you live free and think that you can really enjoy life” says longtime friend Brent Rademaker.
 
Rex drove around in a Volkswagon bus he called “Peanut” searching local vintage stores for groovy clothes and groovy records. Brent recalls the modes of communication before cell phones existed: “He worked at the Newport Classic Inn, I’d call him there. The only way to get in touch with him would be to call him at work. He’d answer the phone ‘Good afternoon the Newport Classic Inn Hotel this is Rex speaking’ It was kind of like the thing in Quadrophenia when the Ace Face gets outed as a bellboy. I even went down there and Rex is dressed in a button-down shirt with a tie. Darren and I came from Florida and Rex really lived all things west coast and lived all things southern California. He made us honorary Californians and he didn’t treat us as outsiders.”
 
The Summer Hits, mid-'90s collage courtesy of Brent Rademaker
The Summer Hits, mid-‘90s collage courtesy of Brent Rademaker
 
With no prior musical experience or training, Rex picked up a left-handed bass and taught himself to play. After his first band fell apart (a C86 influenced local group called Speed Racer) Rex formed The Summer Hits by recruiting friends Darren Rademaker and Josh Schwartz (of the lo-fi “indie rock” band Further). They released a handful of 7"s on labels such as Small-Fi, Volvolo, Silver Girl, and 1000 Guitar Mania. Rex’s unique singing voice on the 8-track recordings was nearly drowned out by a wall of fuzz and feedback, with lyrics that reflected all of his most favorite things: summer, the beach, drugs, listening to music, girls, runnin’ from the fuzz, and retreating into the desert night.
 
In 1997 the year following the band’s split, Brent issued The Summer Hits compilation CD on his own label Xmas Records. “I took every dime I had to put that Beaches and Canyons CD together. I found all the comp tracks and all the singles and all the tapes and I took them down to Capitol (Records) tower and mastered them. The guy looked at me like I was insane when it came on. You know? And I’m like ‘Can you add even more fuzz?’ and he’s like ‘What?! I can’t clean these up,’ I said ‘I don’t want you to clean them up, I want you to make them dirtier.’”
 

 
Besides being the life of the party and a psychedelic social butterfly, Rex Thompson had been making amazing mixtapes which were then duplicated and passed down by friends and friends of friends. The more tapes Rex made the deeper the tracks got and the more extensive his handwritten linear notes became.  One tape of Rex’s in particular titled Find the Sun really stood out amongst his circle of friends and focused on recordings from 1966-1973 by groups all over the world experimenting with the “west coast sound.” Rex’s personal description of the tape was “Magic hippie vibes for lost cosmic children with countrified brains.” Brent recalls, “It had a great title and it was full of obscure, beautiful, beautiful groups. One day Chris Gunst, Josh Schwartz, and I were listening to that tape and one of us just said ‘We can make a group that sounds like this.’ Slowly our clothes started changing, next thing Chris was wearing cowboy western shirts.” L.A. supergroup Beachwood Sparks was formed, they had a successful career on Sub Pop Records and were later featured on the soundtrack to the 2010 cult classic Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. “We wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for that tape and Rex’s influence.”
 
Radio Stars vol.8 mixtape courtesy of Sasha Eisenman
“Radio Stars vol.8” mixtape courtesy of Sasha Eisenman/Sun-Godz
 
Find the Sun mixtape linear notes courtesy of Maura Klosterman
“Find the Sun” mixtape linear notes courtesy of Maura Klosterman
 
“Another thing that speaks so highly of Rex, the linear notes on his tapes are so in depth. And I’m not saying that the pre-internet world didn’t learn or share knowledge or do research. But at what he had at his disposal he really went in depth and he knew what he was talking about when he was talking about country rock, psych, folk, west coast garage, fuzz. Whatever it was, he knew it.”
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Doug Jones | Leave a comment
Ska royalty RIP: The legendary Prince Buster dead at the age of 78
09.08.2016
05:54 pm

Topics:
Music
R.I.P.

Tags:
Prince Buster


 
Word is making its way around various Jamaican and now UK media outlets of the sad news that the great Prince Buster, the legendary ska musician, music promoter, songwriter, producer and businessman, has died this morning in a Florida hospital at the age of 78, after suffering a series of strokes.

If you’re a reggae fan, then Prince Buster needs no introduction. Called the “king of Blue Beat,” he is credited with coming up with a distinctive rhythmic structure that emphasized the after-beat instead of the downbeat. His older ska hits were slowed down to a less frantic pace to form the backbone of many “rocksteady” hits of the later 1960s and of course rocksteady paved the way for reggae.
 

 
It would be impossible to be a “deep” fan of Jamaican music without going through a Prince Buster phase. I know I sure did. I love his music. Trying to think of an American musician of his era to compare him to and the best I can come up with is maybe Smokey Robinson. Not for his voice (which is nothing special) but for his style and his influence. Many a young Jamaican musician saw what Cecil Bustamente Campbell was getting up to, the way he dressed, and the celebrity circles that he traveled in (Muhammad Ali converted him to Islam) and aspired to be as fucking cool as he was. White boys, too. The UK ska revival of the late 70s that started with the 2-Tone label took his music as its very DNA and introduced Prince Buster to a new generation of fans.

The first single by Madness, released on the 2-Tone record label, was a tribute to Campbell called “The Prince.” The B-side was an actual cover of a Prince Buster song—“Madness”—and that’s (obviously) where they got their name. Their second single was a spirited cover of the Prince’s “One Step Beyond” which went top ten and became a bit of a classic.
 

 
The Specials relied somewhat heavily on cribbing Prince Buster for their sound, too, recording cover versions of his “Too Hot” and “Enjoy Yourself” and nicking bits from his “Judge Dread” and “Al Capone” for their songs “Stupid Marriage” and “Gangsters.” Additionally, The Beat covered his tunes “Rough Rider” and “Whine & Grine” on I Just Can’t Stop It, so as you can see, Prince Buster’s primary influence on the ska revival was somewhat analogous to the influence that the R&B greats had on the young Rolling Stones. His music also anticipates rap. The guy was truly an original—the blueprint for “rude boy”—and the world is a less cool place without the Prince.
 

 
If you want the best introduction to Prince Buster, this would undoubtedly come from the classic Fabulous Greatest Hits compilation album that originally came out in 1968. Probably—no definitely—my favorite Prince Buster song is his cheeky and humorously misogynistic hit “Ten Commandments”:
 

 
More of the fabulous Prince Buster after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
That time Alice Cooper moved next door to Gene Wilder


Alice Cooper and Gene Wilder on the set of the short-lived TV sitcom ‘Something Wilder’ in 1995.
 
After Gene Wilder’s passing last week I’ve been trying to clap my eyes on anything from Wilder’s long cinematic career. I even rewatched 1974’s classic Young Frankenstein even though I could recite lines from that film in my sleep. Today I’m really excited to share with you one of my finds: an episode from Wilder’s sadly short-lived mid-90s sitcom on NBC Something Wilder guest-starring none other than Alice Cooper playing himself as Wilder’s annoying neighbor.
 

Gene Wilder, Alice Cooper and Wilder’s TV wife actress Hilary B. Smith on the set of the fourteenth episode of ‘Something Wilder.’
 
On what would be one of the last Something Wilder shows (the fourteenth episode called “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper”) Cooper moves in next door to Wilder’s character “Gene Bergman” and since this is Alice Cooper we’re talking about, things don’t go so well. For Gene.

After being kept up all night listening to the same song being blasted out of Cooper’s windows over and over again Wilder heads over in his adorable plaid robe to see what’s happening. And again, since this is Alice Cooper we’re talking about, Wilder walks in on a wild party that includes a tall red-headed dominatrix, a rat and for some reason a juggler (Now that’s kinky....) After hearing of Wilder’s death, Cooper posted this heartfelt message on his Facebook page about his experience working with one of the greatest screen comedians of our time:

I count working with Gene Wilder on his TV sitcom Something Wilder to be one of the most precious memories of my entire career. Doing ‘one on one’ comedy with Gene was like jamming with the Beatles. It doesn’t get any better. Gene Wilder is IRREPLACEABLE and will always be an American treasure.

I don’t want to give anything else away but if you love the image of Cooper and Wilder at the top of this post, there’s more where that came from. I don’t recall seeing the show myself back in the mid-90s, but seeing it now made my day. Since Something Wilder had such a short run and never really connected with an audience, the show hasn’t made its way to DVD yet.

Watch ‘Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper’ after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Pure Imagination: Gene Wilder tribute portrait as Willy Wonka made entirely out of candy
08.31.2016
12:33 pm

Topics:
Art
Food
Movies
R.I.P.

Tags:
Gene Wilder
Willy Wonka


 
I love this homage portrait of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka made entirely out of candy. It’s fitting. The piece is done by unconventional mosaic artist Jason Mecier.

The Willy Wonka candy portrait will live on forever at Giddy Candy in San Francisco.

Click on the image to enlarge to see all the detail. Wonderful.


 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Life-size bronze Lemmy statue unveiled at Rainbow Bar & Grill
08.25.2016
08:47 am

Topics:
Design
Music
R.I.P.

Tags:
Motörhead
Lemmy


Photo by Mike Maglieri via DIO on Twitter

A bronze Lemmy statue was unveiled last night at the Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, California. The statue stands at 6 feet tall and was sculpted by Los Angeles-based artist Travis Moore.


Image via John Kerr on Facebook.

The Rainbow Bar & Grill was one of Lemmy’s favorite haunts. He didn’t (or was allowed to?) drive and lived within walking distance of the legendary nightclub and watering hole for the famous. It makes perfect sense why the statue was erected there. His ashes belong at the Rainbow, too, but in a commemorative ashtray.

Below, video of last night’s unveiling:

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Bodily Fluids: A Visual Guide to Embalming from 1897
06.02.2016
09:44 am

Topics:
Books
History
R.I.P.

Tags:
death
embalming

0_0fig13beginningadissection.jpg
 
I attended a lot of funerals when I was a kid. A consequence of coming from a large extended Catholic family. My father was the eldest of nine children—he outlived them all. During my childhood, his brothers and sisters, and a few of their cousins and kin, died within a very short time of each other. My mother came from a small Protestant family. Her parents, uncles and aunts lived longer than my father’s kin, but when they died they fell within a year or two of each other.

At most of these funerals the body of the deceased was displayed in an open casket—either in a chapel of rest or at home where the family said decades of the rosary around the coffin. Seeing a corpse never seemed strange—death was part of life. The only thing that did seem odd was the strange almost pained expressions on the faces of the deceased. I put this down to their being embalmed—but never quite understood what this entailed or how the undertakers managed to keep the deceased’s eyes closed or their mouths shut.

When my beloved great aunt died, the undertaker left a few startling clues to the secret processes of making a corpse presentable.

Although she wore little make-up, someone had rendered her as an embarrassed spinster ashamed for causing such an unnecessary to-do. Her cheeks were flaming red, her lips fuchsia pink and her eyelids a cheapening smear of blue. This was a portrait of my great aunt by a Sunday painter overly influenced by Henri Matisse—it was garish and bright. Her eyes seemed wrong—flat and squint. I later found out eyelids are glued closed or covered with a flesh-colored plastic skin. Her mouth was pursed and I saw a telltale crimson thread with which her lips (her jaw) had been sewn or looped shut. Her hair was flat, as if she had been sleeping on her side. It wasn’t how my great aunt—ever meticulous and precise in her presentation—would have wanted to be remembered.

Embalming has been carried out by humans for some 5,000 to 6,000 years. The Egyptians made the greatest use of it—believing the preservation of a body somehow empowered the spirit after death. The brain and vital organs were scooped out and stored in jars. The interior of the corpse rubbed with herbs and preservatives before being wrapped in layers of linen cloth. Similar methods of embalming were carried out across Africa, Europe and China.

The modern methods of embalming developed as a result of discoveries made by the English physician William Harvey in the 1600s. Harvey determined the process of blood circulation by injecting fluids into corpses. Based on Harvey’s experimentation, two Scottish doctors William and John Hunter developed the process of embalming in the 1700s—offering their services to the public.

However, it was the slaughter caused during the American Civil War that led to embalming becoming popular with the public as families of soldiers killed on the battlefield wanted their loved ones’ bodies preserved for burial.

In 1897, Eliab Myers, M.D. and F. A. Sullivan wrote The Champion Text Book on Embalming. This book offered “Lecturers and Demonstrators in the Champion College of Embalming.” It was produced by the Champion Company from Springfield, Ohio, which manufacture equipment for use in embalming.

The Champion Text Book on Embalming gave the user a history of its subject and illustrated step-by-step guide to the process of successful embalming. From the draining of blood and bodily fluids to the dissection and removal of internal organs. The process explained in these atmospheric photographic plates is virtually the same as it is today.
 
0_1fig15raisingthebrachialartery.jpg
Fig. 15 Raising the brachial artery.
 
0_2injectarterialsystthruradialartery.jpg
Fig. 16 Injecting the arterial system through the radial artery.
 
0_3fig17aspiratingbloodrmhert.jpg
Fig. 17 Aspirating blood from the heart.
 
More tips on dealing with corpses from 19th century embalming techniques, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Sexy M*therf*cker: Amazing lifelike Prince doll with custom-made clothing from ‘Purple Rain’ & more!
05.06.2016
09:58 am

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Movies
R.I.P.

Tags:
Prince
dolls
Troy Gua

Le Petit Prince at
Le Petit Prince at ‘Lake Minnetonka’ with his customized Honda CB400A.
 
Tuesday, May 3rd marked the sadly poignant moment when it became “seven hours and thirteen days” since Prince left this world. And I for one have still not (and probably never will) come to terms with his passing. His loss is a truly immeasurable one that has left his fans (including myself and my colleagues here at DM), dumbfounded. 
 
Let Petite Prince in his
Le Petit Prince in his ‘Dirty Mind’ outfit.
 
If you’re a Prince fan (and I wouldn’t trust anyone who said they weren’t, it’s one of my rules), you know that he was an incredibly private person—and was quick to put the kibosh on video footage of his mind-bogglingly epic live performances that somehow made their way to the Internet. In the past when DM has posted footage of Prince blowing-minds live, it’s always come with a warning to watch it before it gets taken down. Such was the case with Prince and his request to Seattle artist Troy Gua, who created a lifelike figure of Prince called “Le Petit Prince” (or “LPP”) sometime in 2012, and was swiftly served with a “cease and desist” notice by The Purple One himself. Gua, a huge Prince fan, was devastated. Figuring out a way around the order, he continued to take photos of his “LPP,” only now it had a sculpted head in Gua’s own image. In 2015, Gua started to once again publish images of Le Petit Prince and one of his most recent posts on his Instagram featured the realistic looking figure beginning his ascent to heaven by way of a ladder. Sigh.

Gua (who also makes all of Le Petit Prince’s painstakingly detailed clothes) says he doesn’t want to profit from Prince’s death, so you can’t actually purchase a small version of Prince dressed in era-specific attire (although Gua didn’t rule out this possibility in the future or selling prints of Le Petit Prince in action). When I say that the images in this post are almost as beguiling as Prince himself (almost), I’m not exaggerating. From Le Petit Prince riding a tiny replica of his customized 1981 Honda CB400A from the film Purple Rain, to the open trenchcoat and tiny black thong Prince wore on the cover of his 1980 album, Dirty Mind, Gua (who might be the greatest person ever) has created so many perfect Princes that I couldn’t possibly post them all here.
 

Prince as seen in the video for ‘Automatic’ from the 1982 album, ‘1999.’
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
In LACMA’s ‘Rain Room’ there’s purple rain falling for Prince
04.22.2016
03:52 pm

Topics:
Art
Music
R.I.P.

Tags:
Prince
LACMA
Purple Rain

nothing more to say. #ripprince #rainroom @lacma #mylaexperience #purplerain #hollywood

A photo posted by valentinaschwanden (@valentin_aschwanden) on

 
Art collective Random International asked LACMA last night that their art installation “Rain Room” rain purple in honor of Prince. LACMA was was more than happy to oblige. The result is beautiful.

If you live in Los Angeles or are just visiting, I’d head on over to LACMA to visit the “Rain Room.” It looks they’re only doing it for one day.

 

#purple #rain #rainroom

A photo posted by Ghislaine Salabert-Mougin (@apiamphotos) on

 
via LA Curbed

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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