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Outer Space International TV broadcasts SubGenius, GWAR, monster, mutant, sex, and space thrills!
07.07.2016
01:18 pm

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Movies
Pop Culture
Television

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“We want you to be nostalgic about the future again.”

Even I, a man so tight he wouldn’t buy a pair of shorts for a flea, broke down over the holiday weekend and purchased a $35 Roku streaming stick.

And what, you ask, prompted this uncharacteristic liberality? Some athletic contest to be broadcast on a Roku station, perhaps? A Fourth of July H.R. Pufnstuf marathon? Or was it one of those deals where we only had 24 hours to save the orphanage from the wrecking ball and the whole town came together to peddle stolen A/V gear, raising just enough money to foil the evil millionaire’s plans as the old clock tower struck twelve?

No, it was something far more wonderful: the OSI 74 network. Launched last Halloween, Outer Space International brings together all the late-night TV and VHS-collector weirdness that has been missing from my life since public access vanished and I indignantly cancelled my Time Warner subscription. “We’re channeling the great pioneers of UHF, home video, and early cable,” network host Mr. Lobo says in one of their bumpers, and not a moment too soon! As far as I know, OSI’s only rival in this territory is the resurrected Night Flight, also available on Roku for $2.99 a month. (OSI is currently free, and every show has a virtual “tip jar.”)
 

 
So far, I’ve only watched a tiny fraction of OSI’s goods. A glance at their schedule reveals a massive hoard of fun: episodes of Criswell Predicts, Friday night movies hosted by GWAR manager Sleazy P. Martini (Sleazy Pictures After Dark), a soap opera starring drag sensation Bunny Galore (Pantry Manor), a Saturday morning rock ‘n’ roll monster dance party (Ghoul A Go-Go), a conspiracy show (Paranoia Magazine Presents), the pilot for a new cartoon series (The Paranormal Idiot), Monster Creature Feature, Cult Movies TV, Monster Madhouse, Cinema Insomnia, Midnight Frights...
 

 
But if you want to know what really squeezed the $35 from my wallet, it’s the significant portion of OSI 74’s programming that’s dedicated to the video ministry of the Church of the SubGenius. In addition to classics like the recruitment video Arise, the network’s got deep SubGenius weirdness such as the entire 1984 devival at which J.R. “Bob” Dobbs was assassinated, a compilation of news and talk show appearances called As They See “Bob,” and a retrospective episode of the Dallas public access show The Hypnotic Eye. Perhaps the greatest treasure in the SubGenius collection is The Obvious (Sex and Violence), an absolutely insane one-hour megamix of tits and squibs from 1980s softcore, action, sci-fi, and horror movies that must be seen to be disbelieved. There’s also a weekly feature film chosen by the Church, the “Bulldada Movie of the Weak” [sic]. Recent offerings include Wojciech Has’ The Saragossa Manuscript and The Hourglass Sanatorium and Shaw Brothers’ The Super Inframan.

Some of OSI’s programming is up at Vimeo. If you have a Roku, the station is listed under “Streaming Channels”; alternatively, you can follow these instructions to add it to your home screen. Linked here is a 30-second, very NSFW clip from The Obvious (Sex and Violence)

More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Paul McCartney on the bust-up with Lennon
07.06.2016
11:49 am

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Music
Pop Culture
Television

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00pmclon1.jpg
 
When The Beatles split-up in 1970 the music press divided the pop world into two camps: those for John Lennon and those against Paul McCartney (who, coincidentally met each other for the first time 59 years ago today). That both camps were basically the same thing meant McCartney had rough ride from “hip” musos over the next decades.

McCartney was painted as straight, safe, vanilla and very very bland—the sort of music yer mom and dad listened to when riding an elevator. It was fueled in large part by his former songwriting pal John Lennon’s vicious public spat with him. Lennon excoriated McCartney in his song “How Do You Sleep?” claiming the only thing he’d done was “Yesterday.”

Lennon was perceived as cool. McCartney was seen as square, fake and lacking any real artistic credibility—whatever that may be. He was the lesser half of the writing partnership Lennon & McCartney. This was how the music press in general and the British music press in particular painted the former Beatles. Of course it was wrong—very wrong. McCartney was the cool one, the smart one, the one who was hanging out with all those avant garde artists on the edge. He didn’t have to try on different party hats to find out who he was—he knew instinctively. The way the music press wrote about him you would never have known. But then again music journalists only write for themselves and their tiny band of fellow journalists—they do not write for the public or really understand that popular music is meant for all—the clue’s in its name—it’s not an exclusive club.

How McCartney weathered it all while starting out on his solo career, raising a family with his wife Linda, then forming the band Wings reveals just how strong and determined a character/a talent is James Paul McCartney.

Understandably, post-Beatles McCartney was always cagey about giving interviews. He knew (and knows) how interviewers turn words to fit their own preconceived opinions and how interviewers like to make themselves the star of the interview.

One of McCartney’s best ever interviews came in 1978, when he was featured in a short film for Melvyn Bragg’s The South Bank Show.
 
0011pmacc1.jpg
McCartney and Melvyn Bragg, 1978.
 
The South Bank Show was devised by Bragg as an arts magazine show that would cover high and low art—from TV and films to theater and pop music. This seems utterly run-of-the-mill now but back in the seventies this hi/lo concept was considered shocking. Pop music was in no way comparable to classical music. Television was never in the same class as theater, etcetera etcetera. Bragg was challenging the perceived orthodoxy when he kicked the whole thing off with The South Bank Show in January 1978, creating the kind of mix of high and low culture we take so very much for granted today.

The South Bank Show was originally a magazine program that featured one or two short films, plus a studio interview and usually some kind of performance. During the first series this morphed into one hour profiles of artists, writers, film directors and performers which remained the format.

Paul McCartney appeared in the very first episode in a short insert documentary filmed during the recording of the song “Mull of Kintyre.” McCartney is open to Bragg’s questions and even goes so far as to explain how he writes, giving examples of some of his best known songs. He also discusses the hurt he felt over the bust-up with Lennon and ends by explaining how he gets a thrill from hearing people whistling his tunes—or as he goes on to say, how he once heard a bird whistling a riff from one of his hits.

The following is the whole interview repackaged for Bragg’s The South Bank Show: Originals series recently broadcast on Sky Arts. It opens with Bragg talking about his memory of interviewing McCartney and contains comment from journalist Clive James who rightly describes Paul McCartney as a genius.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Johnny Ramone compares the Clash to Joan Baez on Minneapolis TV, 1978
07.05.2016
10:00 am

Topics:
Music
Punk
Television

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Local news stories about underground music can always be counted on to cluelessly pander to the paranoid grandparent demographic, which makes this 1978 Minneapolis public TV segment on the Ramones such a gem—it takes punk’s aesthetic merits seriously and keeps to a minimum the then-typical hysterics about audience violence. An announcer calls punk “the theory of minimal art applied to rock ‘n’ roll,” right there much more gravitas than the subject usually got from hinterlands journos.

The interview segment sees the band talking about the punk bands in England (the voice-over announcer misidentifies England as punk’s “ancestral homeland,” apparently not knowing the Ramones were Ur-punks who beat the Brits to the punch by a couple of years). Dee Dee dismisses them with a blanket “they stink,” and Tommy downplays that scene’s vaunted political engagement, singling out the Clash & Sex Pistols as exceptions, while heavily qualifying the latter group. Johnny handwaving the British punks’ political leanings as “a bore” and lumping them in with Joan Baez is funny in hindsight, as most of us know by now what an arch-conservative he turned out to be.

Watch this fun 11-minute feature after the jump…

 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘I feel good!’: Jordan Peele reenacts James Brown’s crazy drug-fueled CNN interview word for word
06.30.2016
04:25 pm

Topics:
Drugs
Music
Television

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Here’s a priceless bit of business from the irreplaceable Jordan Peele.

In May of 1988 James Brown was arrested in Aiken County, South Carolina, on charges of drug possession and fleeing from the police after his wife Adrienne called 911 because he was threatening her safety. Brown was released after paying $24,000 in bail, after which he headed for Atlanta to do an interview on CNN’s Sonya Live! in LA wth Sonya Friedman.

Brown, clearly on something (my money is on PCP), seemed scarcely aware that he was in any legal difficulty and insisted on answering most of Friedman’s queries with lyrics from his songs (“I FEEL GOOD!”) or other similar non sequiturs.
 

 
You know who Jordan Peele is—he and Keegan-Michael Key have been killing it for years with their Comedy Central sketch show Key and Peele, their 2016 movie Keanu, and various appearances elsewhere, including Fargo.

I desperately want the two of them to interview Donald Trump, but before that happens, this delirious recreation of James Brown’s 1988 CNN interview will have to do.

I wrote about this great event back in 2013, and it still remains one of the most remarkable interviews I’ve ever seen.
 
Watch Peele’s glorious impersonation after the jump…....
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Darkly Lynchian mixtape featuring songs by the cast of the new ‘Twin Peaks’
06.30.2016
01:19 pm

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Music
Television

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David Lynch completed shooting the new Twin Peaks episodes he and Mark Frost are producing for a Showtime release early next year. The singular TV show had its brilliant but inconclusive-feeling initial run in 1990 and 1991 on ABC, and it was enough of a sensation to land Lynch on the cover of TIME, identified as “The Wild-at-Art Genius” behind the show. It’s beyond question that Lynch and Co. helped stretch the boundaries of what a TV narrative could be, at a time when network television was practically the only game in town.

Around the same time that the shooting on the new episodes wrapped, the excellent blog Welcome to Twin Peaks noticed that the whopping 217-person cast list released by the show contained a goodly number of people with a decent musical pedigree—or better. For instance, Trent Reznor, Eddie Vedder, Sky Ferreira, and Sharon Van Etten are all listed as cast members, while actors such as Jennifer Jason Leigh, Monica Bellucci, Richard Chamberlain, and Balthazar Getty have released music in their time.

From these facts was birthed a tremendously fertile idea—why not cobble together a mixtape that is limited to the people on the cast list that evokes the peculiarly malevolent and down-home acoustical vibe that Angelo Badalamenti created for the original show? And that’s exactly what Welcome to Twin Peaks did.
 

 
We all know what Twin Peaks music sounds like. Starting with the spare guitar notes with the saccharine synth tones from the show’s opening theme, the show’s music evoked a just the right Bizarro World of melodrama that just might produce a random lady clutching a log or a cryptic dream dwarf.

Obviously, Nine Inch Nails and Pearl Jam is fair game for the project, and the mix brilliantly stretches as far back as 1962 for Richard Chamberlain’s tremendous cover of the Everly Brothers’ “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” How they missed the masterpiece that is Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts’ 1998 album 36-22-36 is a mystery for the ages.
 
Listen after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Eartha Kitt puts the durdy into Hurdy Gurdy
06.29.2016
03:38 pm

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Music
Television

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Eartha Kitt purrs through two Donovan songs like a kitten drunk on catnip. Her post-orgasmic take on “Hurdy Gurdy Man” gives new meaning to organ grinding. And with her sultry rendition of “Catch The Wind” she curls her tongue around each syllable and then launches them into the air like opiated butterflies.

Goddess stuff from German TV circa 1970.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Iggy Pop’s racy 1979 appearance on obscure PBS program ‘Wyld Ryce’
06.29.2016
09:17 am

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Music
Television

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Iggy Pop - Best magazine
 
During November 1979, Iggy Pop was touring the States promoting his latest LP, New Values, when he made an appearance on a little-known PBS program in Minnesota. Naturally, it made for wild TV, with the censors unable to keep up with Iggy’s shenanigans.
 
Iggy
 
KTCA is the PBS affiliate serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. From 1977-80, the station aired a program called Wyld Ryce, which was referred to as an “arts magazine.” The March 5th, 1980 episode featured Taj Mahal and Iggy Pop. The Iggy segment was taped while he was in the area for a gig at fabled Minneapolis bar, Jay’s Longhorn. 
 
Jay's Longhorn
 
In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, the Longhorn was the place to see punk and new wave shows in Minneapolis. The bar hosted a number of the finest touring club acts from the era, including the B-52s, the Buzzcocks, Gang of Four, and the Ramones. It’s also where local groups like Hüsker Dü and the Replacements cut their teeth.
 
The Suburbs
Minneapolis band the Suburbs onstage at the Longhorn, 1980

The Wyld Ryce piece on Iggy includes footage of the man working his way through the airport, and signing autographs for fans during a record store appearance (the interviews with the faithful are priceless). There are also clips of Iggy answering questions in his typically frank manner, plus awesome live video from the Longhorn gig on November 20th, in which he stops the show a number of times due to fighting in the audience. It was a 100 degrees in the bar that night, a fact that surely affected everyone’s agitation levels.
 
Iggy on stage at the Longhorn
Iggy tries to get everybody at the Longhorn to cool it, as Glen Matlock looks on.

For the New Values tour, Iggy assembled a crack group of musicians: Brian James (The Damned) on guitar, Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) on bass, Ivan Kral (Patti Smith Group) on guitar/keyboards, and Klaus Kruger (Tangerine Dream) on drums. In the Longhorn footage, Iggy and the band are seen ripping through a number of tunes, including a couple of Stooges classics, the title track from New Values, and “Dog Food,” a new song that would show up on his next album, Soldier.
 
Iggy smoking
 
There’s an online archive of Wyld Ryce episodes—including the Iggy/Taj Mahal show—sourced from the KTCA vault. Even if you’ve watched the Iggy segment on YouTube, or had a VHS dub you got in a trade back in the day (like I did), you’ve never seen it look this good. Unfortunately, we are unable to embed it, but you can view the episode here. The amusing intro (missing from the YouTube upload, seen below) features a local DJ reading copy that’s pretty darn goofy, which he recites in a peculiar cadence (and I think he’s trying to tell us something with his eyes). Before “Dog Food,” Iggy lets a few cuss words fly, which are bleeped, but the editors missed a subsequent F-bomb, and the fact that you can see part of the Ig’s, um, member, in the shot.

More after the jump…

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
Kooky lady convinced her toaster possessed by Satan
06.28.2016
05:03 pm

Topics:
Belief
Idiocracy
Kooks
Occult
Television

Tags:


 
This classic example of WTF vintage television originally aired on The Today Show back in May, 1984.

The “Richard” this lady keeps referring to off camera is Richard Dominick, a guy who later worked as a producer for Jerry Springer, a fact that will surprise absolutely no one who watches this amazing clip.

You’ll note the distinctive lack of skeptical follow-up when she presents the “Satan Lives” toast to the camera. I guess what happens afterwards vindicates that approach.

It’s only a minute long, just play it…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘A Joyful Noise’: Cheer up with the gleefully cosmic philosophy of Sun Ra
06.28.2016
12:39 pm

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Music
Television

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“Some call me Mister Ra. Others call me Mister Ree. You can call me Mr. Mystery.”

Sun Ra was always the most original and singular of free jazz musicians—indeed, his resonant origin story about his Saturnian roots often seemed to transport his music into another category altogether.

In 1980 Robert Mugge made an hour-long documentary on Sun Ra called A Joyful Noise, and it’s splendid. I don’t know if Mugge ever uttered the words “Let Sun Ra be Sun Ra,” but he surely thought it. Several years ago Time Out London included A Joyful Noise on its list of the 50 greatest music films ever made.

Mugge wonderfully arranged for Sun Ra to expound on his many daffy ideas while draping himself on and ambling near an authentic ancient Egyptian sphinx at the Museum of the University of Philadelphia. In another resonant bit, Sun Ra is filmed at night in front of the White House, which affords him an opportunity to observe sardonically that he hasn’t noticed a similarly lofty Black House in the vicinity.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Paul Williams sings in his ‘Planet of the Apes’ makeup
06.27.2016
02:45 pm

Topics:
Movies
Television

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Paul Williams, the witty and diminutive singer-songwriter (Carpenters, Three Dog Night)  would often appear on 70s talk shows, games shows, on The Love Boat, in Smokey and the Bandit, on The Muppet Show, celebrity roasts—not to mention his greatest role as “Swan” in Brian DePalma’s campy cult classic Phantom of the Paradise. He was in, or on just about anything back then, including heaping mountains of cocaine (Hence all of that manic energy he used to exhibit back then.)

Williams also played “Virgil” the smart orangutan in Battle for the Planet of the Apes. He wore his makeup straight from the 20th Century Fox movie set for this memorable appearance promoting the film on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1973 and sang in costume.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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