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Guided By Voices have broken up
09.18.2014
03:25 pm

Topics:
Music
R.I.P.

Tags:
Guided By Voices


 
Fans of that great Dayton, OH indie band Guided By Voices have been greeted with a rather startling and not terribly informative goodbye on the band’s tour date page:

Guided By Voices has come to an end. With 4 years of great shows and six killer albums, it was a hell of a comeback run. The remaining shows in the next two months are unfortunately canceled. Our sincere apologies to those that have purchased tickets and made travel plans. Thanks to everyone who has supported GBV.

The band’s classic lineup from the 1993-‘96 era reunited in 2010, and immediately set about becoming as insanely prolific as they were the first time around. 2014 alone saw two full length releases, Motivational Jumpsuit and Cool Planet. The band’s fall tour would have kicked off in Portland, OR next week. Given the number of incarnations the band has been through, though, it hardly seems out of the question that one of the 1998-2005 lineups could be resurrected if Doug Gillard could be tempted away from Nada Surf.

Here’s one of the band’s last songs (unless/until singer Robert Pollard gets a wild hair up his ass to do it again…), “Planet Score” from Motivational Jumpsuit.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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‘Dick’ Butt, rest in peace
09.03.2014
11:17 am

Topics:
Amusing
R.I.P.

Tags:
Dick Butt


 
They played it straight when they posted this one over at Death and Taxes this morning, for obvious reasons:

On Friday, 93-year-old Richard A. “Dick” Butt passed away in his hometown of Spokane, Washington, after struggling with heart disease for several months. He was born in Washington state on April 4, 1921, and had seven siblings. His parents, Will and Helen Butt, raised him on a farm. The obituary in the Spokesman Review noted that, in high school, Dick “was remembered for his pitching prowess.”

He’s probably recalled for something else, too…

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Robin Williams immortalized in street art
08.14.2014
03:25 pm

Topics:
Art
R.I.P.

Tags:
Robin Williams


 
A nice Robin Williams tribute spotted in Belgrade, Serbia. The artist at this time is unknown. If you know who did this I will update the post.

Apparently Williams was in early stages of Parkinson’s disease according to his widow’s statement.

via ANIMAL

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Classic album covers minus deceased band members


 
Over the weekend, when the sad news spread about the passing of Tommy Ramone, a really touching image circulated online, showing the Ramones debut LP, then the same cover with Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee Photoshopped out, and then, at last, Tommy removed as well. Dangerous Minds even shared it on our Facebook page.
 

 
The middle image, of Tommy standing alone in front of that iconic brick wall, seems to have come from a Tumblr called “Live! (I See Dead People),” which is devoted entirely to skillfully removing deceased musicians from their LP covers—sort of like “Garfield Minus Garfield,” but with a more serious intent. The subjects range from cult figures like Nick Drake to canonical rock stars like Nirvana and The Doors, and the results are often quite poignant. The blog hasn’t been updated in almost three years, so it seems unlikely the artists behind this project, Jean-Marie Delbes and Hatim El Hihi, will re-do that Ramones cover. Indeed, their Morrison Hotel still features Ray Manzarek, who passed on a little over a year ago.
 

New York Dolls, s/t
 

Ol Dirty Bastard, Return to the 36 Chambers
 

Nick Drake, Bryter Layter
 

The Who, Odds & Sods
 

Johnny Thunders, So Alone
 

George Harrison, All Things Must Pass
 

Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit
 

Jeff Buckley, Grace
 

The Doors, Morrison Hotel
 

John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Double Fantasy
 

The Clash, s/t
 

Elvis Presley, s/t
 

 
Hat-tip to Derf for this find.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Tommy Ramone, RIP: Last original member of Ramones passes
07.11.2014
09:09 pm

Topics:
Punk
R.I.P.

Tags:
Ramones


 
Tommy Ramone, aka Thomas Erdelyi, the last surviving member of the original Ramones died today at his home in Ridgewood, Queens. He was 62 (several sources say 65) and had been in hospice care following treatment for cancer of the bile duct. The time of death was 12:15pm. Claudia Tienan, his partner of 40 years, asked Andy Schwartz, former editor of NY Rocker (among many other things) to make the announcement of his passing.

Tommy and guitarist John Cummings (Johnny Ramone) first got together in a high school garage band called the Tangerine Puppets. When the Ramones formed, he was supposed to be their manager, but ended up becoming the drummer from 1974 to 1978 and producing several of their albums. Tommy was always considered the most “normal” Ramone.

Post Ramones, Erdelyi produced the Replacements Tim album and Redd Kross’s Neurotica. In recent years he’d been playing bluegrass and folk with Claudia Tienan as Uncle Monk.

Below, The Ramones perform “Havana Affair” and “Listen to My Heart"at Max’s Kansas City, October 8th, 1976:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Rik Mayall in ‘Don’t Fear Death,’ one of his final works
06.09.2014
01:03 pm

Topics:
R.I.P.
Television

Tags:
Rik Mayall

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You know how we’re all affected by certain celebrity deaths that shock and sadden, and knock the wind from you, making the world seem that little less exciting? Like the end of the summer holidays, or clearing up after that great party, when all the presents have been opened, the guests have all gone, the food and drink taken, and there’s only the clearing up and hangover to be faced. That’s kinda how I feel about Rik Mayall, who died today at the age of 56.

Some of you will say Elvis or Lennon or Cobain, or maybe Tupac or Winehouse or Hoffman, and of course I’ll agree, but they didn’t sink as deeply or sting as much as Mayall’s death did today. I thought him the funniest, most joyous and fearless comic I’d ever seen, and someone who was admirable because of that. He never stuck with the “a man walked into a bar” jokes,” or easy targets of politics that many of his contemporaries did, or even tried to win over the audience and pick on people for a cheap laugh, no. Rather, Mayall made himself the focus of the comedy, he was his own punchline, and as such was exuberant, joyful, yes often juvenile, and daft, but never, ever dull.

One of the last things Rik Mayall did for TV before his untimely death was to voice an animation for Channel 4 called Don’t Fear Death. Written and produced by Louis Hudson and Ian Ravenscroft, this three-minute animation explores the “benefits” of being dead, ironically suggesting that death “is your passport to complete and utter freedom. No pulse, no responsibilities. Carpe mortem – seize death.”

RIP Rik Mayall comedy genius 1958-2014.
 

 
Via Daily Telegraph, with thanks to Michael Gallagher
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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H.R. Giger and Debbie Harry interview, 1981
05.13.2014
06:40 am

Topics:
Art
Movies
Music
R.I.P.

Tags:
Debbie Harry
H.R. Giger


 
Sad news is spreading this morning: Swiss surrealist artist H.R Giger has died. Giger is famous as the designer of the eponymous creature and bizarre sets for the film Alien, and for a lifetime’s worth of beautiful and disturbing organic/machine hybrid body-horror paintings (he called them “biomechanoids”). He also became a part of the music world when his works were used as album covers for the likes Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Magma, Celtic Frost and Danzig, among many others. Notoriously his “Penis Landscape” was included as a poster in Dead Kennedys’ Frankenchrist LP, setting in motion an avalanche of censorship and legal difficulties which derailed the band.

Here’s a 1981 British television interview with Giger and Blondie singer Debbie Harry. The occasion for the seemingly odd pairing is Giger’s portrait of Harry for her debut solo LP, KooKoo. Giger also made videos for the album’s songs “Backfired” and “Now I Know You Know.”
 

 
The music videos are seriously dated by a quaint, acutely ‘80s video cheapness, but they’re still pretty damn cool. They’re by Giger, after all.

 

 
Many thanks to the ever-resourceful Beth Piwkowski for this find.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Actor Bob Hoskins dead at 71
04.30.2014
08:54 am

Topics:
Movies
R.I.P.

Tags:
Bob Hoskins

sniksoh.jpg
 
The actor Bob Hoskins, best known for his roles in The Long Good Friday, Mona Lisa, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mermaids and Twenty Four Seven has died from pneumonia at the age of 71.

Hoskins died in hospital surrounded by his family. In a statement, his wife Linda and children Alex, Sarah, Rosa and Jack said:

“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob.

“We ask that you respect our privacy during this time and thank you for your messages of love and support.”

There was a humanity and warmth about Hoskins that made him incredibly likable—something that can be seen by the current outpouring of condolences on Twitter. I was fortunate to meet Hoskins briefly once, at the premier of his first major movie The Long Good Friday. Having grown-up watching him on TV in the sit-com Thick As Thieves, the educational series On the Move (which was a reading program for adult literacy, but was a must watch because of Hoskins’ removal man), and Dennis Potter’s Pennies for Heaven, where he was unforgettable as a music sheet salesman, Arthur Parker, playing opposite Cheryl Campbell.

Then came The Long Good Friday where he played one of cinema’s greatest gangsters, Harold Shand, an ambitious and brutal villain who falls foul of the IRA. It was the Irish issue that led some fools to boo the film at its premiere in Edinburgh. As I was leaving the cinema, I found myself beside Hoskins and director John MacKenzie as we walked down the stairs and out onto the foyer. He turned and started talking to me as if we were mates who had gone to the cinema to watch the film. He asked me whether I thought the film was pro-IRA? I said “no” and then we talked a bit about the movie and Edinburgh. I was more keen to tell him how great the film and superb his performance, and he was humble and gracious, but deflected the praise by asking where he could find a good pub?

Back then there were fewer TV channels and hardly any inane reality shows clogging up all the air-time. This meant the bar was far higher and the quality of shows undeniably better. That’s how the country was able to see Hoskins as Iago in Jonathan Miller’s BBC production of Othello. It confirmed that Hoskins as an actor could do anything and successfully, which is what he went on to do over the next three decades.

Bob Hoskins was born on 26th October 1942. His father was a Communist, who brought Hoskins up as an atheist. He later said it was his mother who gave him “confidence”:

“My mum used to say to me, ‘If somebody doesn’t like you, fuck ‘em, they’ve got bad taste.’”

Hoskins left school at fifteen and undertook a variety of jobs (including time at a kibbutz, and working in a circus) before accidentally auditioning and winning his first acting role. Hoskins had been accompanying an actor friend for moral support, when he was asked to audition himself. From this first role, he went on to star in a range of television and stage productions, before achieving success with the series Pennies from Heaven and then The Long Good Friday.

During the 1980s he appeared in The Cotton Club, Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, and the film that made him an international star Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988.

More recently Hoskins showed his support for young talented film-makers by appearing in Shane Meadows’ Twenty Four Seven and A Room For Romeo Brass. Of course, he also made a few stinkers, but then that’s the nature of cinema. But no matter what film he appeared in, Bob Hoskins’ performance was often the best thing about it.

In 2012, Hoskins announced his retirement form acting after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

R.I.P. Bob Hoskins 1942-2014

Here’s the first part on the making of The Long Good Friday, written by Barrie Keefe, which starred Bob Hoskins.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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‘Stupid Club’: Thousands gather to grieve for Kurt Cobain in Seattle park, 1994
04.03.2014
12:24 pm

Topics:
History
Music
Pop Culture
R.I.P.

Tags:
Kurt Cobain


 
As we near the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death—the Nirvana leader killed himself on April 5, 1994—this morning the Seattle Police Department released two new crime scene photographs that give gruesome glimpses at his final moments.  His body was found on the morning of April 8, 1994 by an electrician named Gary Smith who had been hired to do some maintenance work at Cobain’s Lake Washington home. One photo shows Cobain’s wrist with a hospital ID bracelet, while the other shows his lifeless Converse-clad foot beside a box of bullets:
 

 

 
If you are of a certain age, it’s likely you’ll recall where you were when you heard the news. Thousands of grieving young fans in Seattle felt the need to be together to try to make sense of what had occurred. In “Stupid Club,” this fascinating short documentary from 1994, we meet several of them and it’s pretty interesting stuff, historically, sociologically speaking, whatever. Some of it’s sad, some of it is just goofy.

Worth noting is that the title “Stupid Club” refers to something that Cobain’s mother said in the wake of his suicide:

“Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club, I told him not to join that stupid club.”

Conspiracy theorists at the time—well, at least the ones not claiming that he had been murdered by Courtney Love—speculated that the “stupid club” his mother Wendy was alluding to is the “27 Club” of dead rock stars who never made it to to the age of 28 (Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Canned Heat’s Alan Wilson) but she was most likely referring to two of Kurt’s uncles, and a great uncle, who had killed themselves.
 

 
Thank you kindly, Reginald Harkema!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Treat yourself to that real working guillotine you’ve always wanted!


 
If you’re going to stage a coup d’etat, you need to make a bold statement to the populace that you’re not playing around, and what says “DO NOT TRIFLE WITH THE NEW ORDER” like public executions? Trouble is, modern methods like lethal injection are too painless and clinical to satisfy the bloodlust of a proper mob, so how’s a budding dictator to quash dissent?

Auctioneer Francois-Xavier Duflos of Nantes, France may have your execution solution. Via The Local:

A working French guillotine is expected to fetch up to €60,000 [about $83,500 USD] when it goes under the hammer on Thursday in the western French city of Nantes. 

The wood, iron, steel and brass relic, synonymous with the French Revolution, was used to execute people in the second half of the 19th century.

The blade of the guillotine bears the inscription ‘Armees de la Republique,” a reference to the Revolutionary Army that was created to defend France from its neighbors in the aftermath of the 1789 French Revolution.

“It was used by the army, it was assembled and disassembled,” Duflos told Europe 1. “It has certainly known several battlefields.”

 

 
“It was used by the army” surely means that people met their doom on this very machine, right? How could it be otherwise? Though the devices are most closely associated in the world’s consciousness with Maximilien de Robespierre’s excesses in the French Revolution, France used guillotines as their primary method of execution until 1977.

Bidding begins on Thursday. Good luck.

This 2004 interview with France’s last living guillotine executioner is mercifully bereft of any actual beheading footage. Its subject only speaks French, but if you turn the captions on, they’re not only in English, they’re sometimes wrong in amusing ways.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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