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Ultramega OK: Soundgarden destroy the Whisky a Go-Go, 1990
05.22.2017
12:59 pm
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Like many of you, I’m still trying to process the sudden death of Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell last week. Here in Seattle, where Cornell was born, there were several memorials held around the city including one at the site that inspired the band’s name—A Sound Garden—a musical sculpture park where twelve 20+ foot structures outfitted with organ pipes emanate with sound whenever the wind blows. After Cornell passed, Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron posted a heart-wrenching comment on his Facebook page saying “My dark knight is gone,” a sentiment that hit entirely too close to home for those who knew Cornell as well as those who often suffer in silence—forever searching for ways to deal with their own depression and anxiety.

At an impromptu memorial held at the radio station KEXP on the day of Cornell’s death, 400 people showed up to collectively grieve at the station’s gathering space. While addressing the crowd, long-time DJ John Richards said that “part of the city (of Seattle) had died” that day. Often, music is something that can be hugely helpful and cathartic when you’re trying to make sense of unfathomable events such as Cornell’s impossibly sad, untimely passing. And that is exactly the purpose of my post today—to share Soundgarden’s legacy by way of their sonic, ear-smashing music.

Though I know your social media feeds have likely been filled with news about the legendary vocalist, I really wanted to support as well as spread the idea of celebrating Cornell’s life and his work with Soundgarden, who are/were without question one of the greatest rock bands of the last 30 years. A large part of their appeal was, of course, the animal magnetism of Chris Cornell’s stage presence and his immaculate four-octave vocal range. Cornell was also the primary lyricist for Soundgarden, which helped solidify his deep connection to their fan base.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.22.2017
12:59 pm
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‘100,000 tabs of acid’: Lemmy talks records, touring with Hendrix, and sex with a trans person
04.20.2017
08:25 am
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Back in 2000, Lemmy was the guest on Channel 4’s series All Back to Mine, an interview show based on Desert Island Discs. Usually, Sean Rowley, the host of the show, would visit musicians at home and listen to a few of their favorite records, but this episode was filmed at a bar table with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.

Lemmy lists a few favorite records—“Good Golly, Miss Molly,” something by the Shadows he doesn’t name, “Hotel California”—in the course of this freewheeling conversation, which is not really about his favorite records and offers something for everyone. There’s material on being a Ted and hating Mods (“How can you be mean on a Vespa?”), the Hawkwind way of life (“We weren’t in a regular job, we weren’t paying our taxes regular, we weren’t like joining the Young Conservatives or whatever it is, y’know—we were just, like, gettin’ wrecked and playing music that we liked”), and megadosing with Jimi:

Lemmy: I was Jimi Hendrix’s roadie, what’d you expect? I mean, he’d come back from America with a hundred thousand tabs of acid, right?
Rowley: Who, Jimi had?
Lemmy: Yeah, and it wasn’t even illegal then. He brought it back in his suitcase. And he gave half of it ‘round the crew. I mean, that’s a lot of acid, you know.
Rowley: And you were part of the crew, at the time, then.
Lemmy: There was only two of us.

And then there’s the astonishing answer to Rowley’s question about having sex with a trans person, in which Lemmy frames gender reassignment surgery in terms of manly virtue…

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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04.20.2017
08:25 am
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Lou Reed, Steve Buscemi, and the death of the 90s: Maggie Estep’s cover of ‘Vicious’
04.03.2017
10:08 am
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This clip is basically the most perfect eulogy for the 90s I can ever imagine.

It is not the job of the Gen X-er to lament or to wax nostalgic. We have essentially made a generational pact to shrug our collective way to the grave. And that’s cool, but still, let us count the things that once existed in this video that are, simply, no more: viable spoken word performers, viable music videos, viable indie record labels, affordable NYC art scenes, Maggie Estep (RIP), Lou Reed (RIP). The 90s really were fucking magnificent, man.

Anyway, this spoken-word cover by poet Estep was from her second album, Love is A Dog from Hell. (Bukowski reference! Everybody loved Bukowski in the 90s!) It was directed by Steve Buscemi (!) and features a cameo from Mister Lou Reed himself. Shortly thereafter “downtown” died and so did virtually everything and everybody that you love.

Oh well, whatever. Nevermind.
 
Watch it after the jump…

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Posted by Ken McIntyre
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04.03.2017
10:08 am
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The space burial of Dr. Timothy Leary and ‘Star Trek’ creator Gene Roddenberry
03.23.2017
08:54 am
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Twenty years ago, the perihelion of the Hale-Bopp comet coincided with the mass suicide of the Heaven’s Gate cult, whose members believed death was a sure way of hitching a ride on a spaceship. They put on new pairs of Nike Decades before eating phenobarbital and tying bags around their heads. Among the dead in Rancho Santa Fe was Thomas Nichols, whose sister Nichelle played Lt. Uhura on Star Trek. “He made his choices, and we respect those choices,” she told Larry King.
 

 
One month later, a Pegasus rocket carrying the remains of Dr. Timothy Leary, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, physicist and space colonization advocate Gerard O’Neill, Operation Paperclip beneficiary Krafft Ehricke, and 20 other former space enthusiasts launched from the Canary Islands.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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03.23.2017
08:54 am
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Chuck Barris is dead, but the scandalous ‘Popsicle Twins’ will live forever
03.22.2017
10:05 am
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Well, the CIA lost their greatest assassin today. Gong Show host Chuck Barris has died, aged 87.  Dumb but beautiful and entirely emblematic of the decade in which it flourished, The Gong Show was quintessential 1970s junk TV, a swirling, whirling dimestore cocktail of low-watt celebrity worship, vaudeville schmaltz, and punk ferocity. Half game-show, half freakshow, it allowed ordinary knuckleheads a chance to shine on national television while D-grade stars like Jamie Farr, Jaye P. Morgan, and Rip Taylor mocked them. It was like American Idol, except for that everyone was in on the joke. Lording over the whole chaotic enterprise was game-show impresario Barris, a bucket hat wearing goofball who could not care less if anybody won or if anybody died. It was so, so good, a riot of polyester, bubbles, desperation and abject failure. It made legitimate stars out of unlikely characters like Gene Gene the Dancing Machine and The Unknown Comic.

It was everything the 1970s promised and more.
 

‘Gong Show’ greatness: Gene Gene the Dancing Machine
 
Barris also created The Newlywed Game and The Dating Game and, according to his kooky autobiography Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (!), he ran his media empire while working as a spy-slash-assassin for the CIA. The CIA denied it, but of course they would.

Anyway, let us not mourn the man’s tragic passing, but celebrate his most towering achievement: the 1977 Gong Show appearance of “Have You Got A Nickel” AKA the Popsicle Twins. We could analyze it, but that’s not what Chuck would’ve wanted. All you really need to know is that sometime in 1977, The Gong Show featured 17-year-old twins eating orange popsicles on stage—that’s it—and the whole country almost had a heart attack.

Rest in peace, Chuck. You truly were a Dangerous Mind. Gong, but not forgotten…

Watch the Popsicle Twins after the jump…

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Posted by Ken McIntyre
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03.22.2017
10:05 am
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Jimmy Page and the Yardbirds cover the Velvet Underground in 1968
03.02.2017
09:18 am
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In honor of what would have been Lou Reed’s 75th birthday, here’s the Yardbirds covering the Velvet Underground in 1968.

You may recall that Michelangelo Antonioni considered the Velvet Underground for the club scene in Blow-Up before choosing the Yardbirds, but the connection between the two bands does not end there. As I learn from Richie Unterberger, the Yardbirds’ last lineup—the one with Jimmy Page on lead guitar—had “I’m Waiting for the Man” in its repertoire. A recording survives from the May 31, 1968 gig at the Shrine Exposition Hall in Los Angeles, one of the Yardbirds’ final shows.
 

 
“I’m Waiting for the Man” was a forward-looking selection in May ‘68. John Cale was still in the VU; White Light/White Heat had been out for a few months, The Velvet Underground & Nico about a year. Yardbird Chris Dreja, who remembers “hanging out with Andy Warhol at The Factory” on the Yardbirds’ first US tour, suggests the cover was Page’s idea. As a session musician and arranger, Page had worked on Nico’s 1965 debut single “I’m Not Sayin’,” whose B-side, “The Last Mile,” he co-wrote with Andrew Loog Oldham. The following year, as Unterberger points out, the Yardbirds and the VU both played at Detroit’s Carnaby Street Fun Festival.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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03.02.2017
09:18 am
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Behold a custom built Lemmy Kilmister fire pit that that spews flames from its face
03.01.2017
09:22 am
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The most metal fire pit known to man (or woman), the custom-built Lemmy Kilmister fire pit by Kustom Fire Pits.
 
So here’s the deal—I don’t know a whole lot about this custom Lemmy Kilmister fire pit. But I do know enough to tell how to get your hands on one, or one of the other Motörhead inspired fire pit designs done by an outfit in the Netherlands called Kustom Fire Pits.

According to their Facebook page, the incredibly cool artisan behind these completely metal creations is an artist known as Sjaak. In addition to his many designs, he also accepts commissions. Over on Sjaak’s official site, I learned a little more about the Lemmy fire pit, specifically that it took 120 hours to craft and weighs about 88 pounds. Which unless you live in the Netherlands or Netherlands adjacent, getting the massive Lemmy fire pit to your zip code without taking a second mortgage out on your house might be a challenge. However, once you get a look at some of the other Motörhead pits as well as more of the creations by the talented Dutchman, I think you’ll seriously consider making one of them yours. Here’s a link to Kustom Fire Pits official site where you can get more info on how to do that. Images of the metal as fuck fire-burning Lemmys and other very metal fire pits follow.
 

 

 
More fire-breathing Lemmy after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.01.2017
09:22 am
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The art of mourning: Vintage wreaths & other memorial keepsakes made with the hair of the dead
02.21.2017
10:22 am
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A depiction of a French cemetery scene in a mourning dome made with human hair from 1881.

Memorial artifacts that were made or contained the hair of the recently deceased is a mourning tradition that dates as far back as the 1600s. As a matter of fact, a place in Independence, Missouri that claims to be the “only hair museum in the world” Leila’s Hair Museum is in possession of a Swedish mourning brooch by that dates to 1640. Works of art made from hair were actually a pretty common thread throughout the world and while not all were intended to symbolize a person’s passing, the examples featured in this post were.

During the Victorian era, owning mementos made with or containing hair was a way of life. Some families would create a hair wreath using hair from every member of their family which were used as a family tree of sorts and utilizing the hair as a way to communicate details about their lineage. Even churches were known to create hair wreaths created by donations from members of their congregations. Mourning wreaths would generally be constructed in a distinct half-moon style to convey that the deceased had begun the journey to the afterlife. Though they are in every sense of the word macabre, they are also intricate, intimate works of art.
 

A close look at a memorial hair dome created in 1886.
 

A mourning hair wreath made with human hair, wire, and wood. Approximately 1850-1900.

More mourning wreaths after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.21.2017
10:22 am
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For Sale: The Private Life of Marilyn Monroe
10.26.2016
11:15 am
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This is what it comes to when we die: a wardrobe full of clothes, shoes, some scattered notes, several albums of photographs and a few good memories to be shared by others.

When Marilyn Monroe died on August 5th 1962, she left behind a shitload of personal effects from which we can learn more about her private life than any biography or old movie magazine interview could ever reveal. This November, Julien’s Auctions are selling some of Marilyn’s personal belongings from the collections of David Gainsborough-Roberts, the estate of Lee Strasberg and the estate of Frieda Hull. The lots up for grabs include clothes, costumes, jewelry, photographs, memorabilia, private journals, and poetry.

Julien’s shortlists the sale as follows:

Highlights from Marilyn Monroe Property From The Collection of David Gainsborough-Roberts include a sheer black beaded and sequined dress worn by Monroe in her Golden Globe winning role Sugar Kane as she crooned “I’m Through With Love” in the award winning 1959 film Some Like it Hot; an elaborate embellished stage gown worn by Monroe as she sang “After You Get What You Want You Don’t Want It” in the 1953 comedy There’s No Business Like Show Business which was designed by one of Marilyn’s all-time favorite designers, William Travilla; a pink linen halter wiggle dress designed for Monroe by Dorothy Jenkins for the 1953 thriller Niagara

The Marilyn Monroe Property From The Estate of Lee Strasberg collection includes one of just a few pieces of fine jewelry ever owned by Monroe: a ladies platinum and diamond cocktail watch with movement reading “Blancpain, Rayvill Watch Co. 17 Jewels, Unadjusted Switzerland.” Other highlights in this collection include a beautiful 1950’s brown alligator ladies handbag from I. Magnin & Co. with matching accessories; a grey pony handbag from Mexico still containing three one peso bills; a number of other handbags, fur coats and stoles; a stunning ladies minaudière with the original box, featuring multiple compartments containing loose powder with cotton buffer, mirror, comb, two mercury dimes, eight Phillip Morris cigarettes and a tube of used Revlon lipstick in “Bachelor’s Carnation” with a date of 1947, a virtual time capsule of one of the star’s nights out on the town.

Déjà vu Property From The Life and Career of Marilyn Monroe includes personal items originally sold at Christie’s 1999 and Julien’s Auctions’ 2005 Property From The Estate of Marilyn Monroe auctions and other consignors.

Among these incredible treasures are many of Marilyn’s intimate writings which reveal her frustrations with acting, her fear of being unable to love another, and various poems including one which might be about suicidal feelings:

Stones on the walk,
every color there is
I stare down at you
like a horizon
The space—air is between us beckoning
and I am many stories up
my feet frightened
as I grasp towards you.

The auction takes place over three days on November 17th, 18th and 19th, Los Angeles in what would have been Marilyn’s ninetieth year. View the catalogs here and full details of the auctions here.
 
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More Marilyn Monroe memorabilia auction, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.26.2016
11:15 am
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Intimate photos of David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly & more from the set of ‘Labyrinth’
10.11.2016
08:35 am
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A candid moment between David Bowie and his look-alike stuntman Nick Gillard on the set of ‘Labyrinth.’
 
As Halloween approaches I’ve become more and more convinced that this year will bring a cavalcade of David Bowie fans dressed as various personas developed by the Thin White Duke over his long career. Even yours truly is planning on “becoming Bowie” on October 31st and I’m so committed to my quest to look like Aladdin Sane that I’m planning on dying my hair bright red for the occasion. Now that’s dedication.

My month long homage to all things Halloween also includes watching as many horror films that I can fit into a 31-day period (which isn’t a huge departure as I’m actually a year-round die-hard horror film fan) and this year it seemed fitting to throw one of my favorite films into the mix: David Bowie as the unforgettable villain “Jareth” in the 1986 flick Labyrinth. Originally director Jim Henson was seriously considering at other musicians for the role—Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson and Sting (as well as David Lee Roth and Roger Daltrey)—that would ultimately go to Bowie. Henson also gave thought to the idea that the Goblin King should be played by one of his Muppets. According to folklore it came down to Jackson and Bowie and after receiving a handwritten letter penned from Henson along with an early version of the Labyrinth script Bowie became convinced that he should take the role.

As with other movies that have achieved the cult status that Labyrinth has, there’s a fair amount of great behind-the-scenes legends associated with the film. Such as the use of juggler Michael Moschen who was responsible for helping Bowie make it look easy to twirl a crystal ball, and actor Toby Froud who played adorable infant kidnapping victim “Toby” (and the bane of Jennifer Connelly’s teenage existence). Fround actually grew up to be a puppeteer of sorts himself, a natural move as his father Brian Froud was responsible for contributing to the design of the set and the inhabitants of both Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal

Of course if you are of a certain age then you may even remember the massive marketing campaign that produced oddities such as Labyrinth-themed bubble gum (tastes like Hoggle?), a talking door knocker, and a bizarre hot pink phone card (released in Japan) with Bowie and Jennifer Connolly on the front. There was even a sweet belt based on the film that sadly never made it past the prototype phase made by Lee Jeans. The 80s were so goddamn weird and wonderful, weren’t they?

And now to the point of this post which is to show you some fantastic behind-the-scenes photos captured during the filming of Labyrinth (which celebrated its 30th anniversary this past summer) especially ones of our departed hero who has perhaps inspired your Halloween costume this year. In other good news, a new nearly 200 page book Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History promises to take an exhaustively detailed look at every aspect of the film from rare artwork, concept sketches and equally rare photos taken on the set. You can pre-order it here. So in lieu of what wonders the book will reveal I hope you enjoy looking through the images in this post as well as a video of Bowie as “Jareth” and juggler Michael Moschen trying to make Bowie look like he can do mystical things with crystal balls that follows.
 

David Bowie as ‘Jareth (aka, ‘The Goblin King’ the star of the 1986 film, ‘Labyrinth.
 

Jareth and ‘Baby Toby.’
 

35mm contact sheet from ‘Labyrinth.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.11.2016
08:35 am
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