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Incredible NEWLY UNCOVERED 1977 footage of UK punk bands: Damned! Generation X! Adverts! Rich Kids!
06.26.2016
07:15 am

Topics:
Punk
Television

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With the steady influx of punk rock documentaries, books, and all manner of info (and YouTube fare) coming in from all directions—thankfully eyes are opening to all the wild stuff from the 1920s to the 1950s as much as to 70s punk and other recent upheavals—something like this still truly amazes me, especially since this accidentally seldom-seen footage captures a couple of extra special treasures for the jaded and world-weary punk connoisseur/freak/snob.
 
drtfj
 
The footage is from an apparently unaired UK TV show called Impact and was filmed December 21st 1977 by one Mike Mansfield. Mansfield was a producer, most importantly to us of the UK TV show Supersonic which started in 1975 and was a much hipper version of Top Of The Pops. Supersonic featured great performances of glam rockers like T.Rex and others colliding with the punk movement.
 
gfnv
 
One of the great surprises here is the only known footage of the five-piece version of The Damned with second guitarist Lu (who is currently playing in PiL, strangely enough) and Jon Moss, later of Culture Club fame, on drums! Also featured are The Rich Kids, former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock’s post-Pistols band with Steve New, Midge Ure (Ultravox) and Rusty Egan (Visage); the amazing Adverts are here and so the great Generation X with vocalist Billy Idol, bassist Tony James (later of Sigue Sigue Sputnik) and Bob “Derwood” Andrews, considered by many (myself included) to be the single best guitarist to come out of the punk rock era.

No sense in waiting—watch this treat after the jump! Enjoy!

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
Outsider: Meet David ‘Rock’ Nelson, the new Ed Wood
06.24.2016
02:30 pm

Topics:
Kooks
Movies
Television

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David “Rock” Nelson is a manic former Marine and aspiring boxer and he just might be the new Ed Wood. Although it’s hard to tell just how much of an effect getting hit in the head repeatedly had on him creatively, the former Golden Glover has been making his amateurish DIY camcorder monster movies since the early 90s. His insane films often star himself, his off-again/on-again girlfriend and his barely indulgent (now deceased) elderly parents who seemed more perturbed, if not totally disinterested at what their weird adult son was getting up to. His baffling and inept work makes almost no sense to anyone except for (maybe) David himself, and therein lies the charm of his peculiar “school” of no budget cinema, a genre in his case, where he resides most assuredly alone. People have been making bad monster movies for decades, but nothing like this.

If you’re the sort of cultural miscreant who goes in for, say, Andy Milligan films or the music of Jandek, then maybe the cinema of David “Rock” Nelson is for you?
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Exiles in Düsseldorf: Austrian TV special on Kraftwerk, 1981
06.24.2016
01:51 pm

Topics:
Music
Science/Tech
Television

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This documentary appeared on the Austrian TV station ORF in 1981, pretty clearly to coincide with the release of Computer World.

The special mixes Kraftwerk performing in front of an audience, what we would today call “music videos” that use some excellent documentary footage of missile launches and things like that, and footage of Ralf Hütter being interviewed by someone off-camera.

In pure technological mode, Ralf emphasizes the isolation of working so hard on Kraftwerk material in the studio for years on the new album, and is prompted to say a few things about the future of technology, most of which are a bit silly. The interviewer has an Austrian accent.

I’ve supplied a translation below. It’s rough but should give an accurate impression of what was said. I unfortunately couldn’t quite make out the intriguing final question, which has something to do with Kraftwerk entering people’s bloodstreams(?) or something like that. If there are any native German speakers out there reading this, I’d love it if you would chime in below and clarify what he was saying there (or make any other suggestions to the translation).
 

Ralf: “We are playing the entire Kling Klang Studio in concert. We have all of our instruments, some of which we invented ourselves and built music machines. You can’t just go into a shop and just say, “this thing or that thing.” We had to make it ourselves, and that took a long time. We construct them always ourselves, with the help of another friend, who is a sound engineer or a music engineer, he helps us and we make the whole thing ourselves. It took three years before we were able to play again. In part it is pre-programmed, but on the other hand we have access to the memory of the computer, and we can change it while it’s running. Mostly we make rhythmic programs or also melodic things that run throughout, automated.

Ralf: We feel, for example, lots of streams of energy, that come back to us from people. We are always in the studio, so are concentrating on ourselves more.

Question: Is “Radio-Aktivitat” actually an atomic-power song?
Ralf: Yes, you could definitely say that.

Ralf: Yes, for us it was more a problem of how to make music at all in the Federal Republic of Germany, or so, after the war, where the living music, everyday music had disappeared, had been extinguished. And our generation had to start from scratch, to live somehow in this purely quiet situation, to make music not so much from natural things in the countryside but were influenced more by cities and machines, and reflected those things, and maybe some time passed, the time of so-called pop music, where we had more free time, we took up certain things, more about work processes and big-city situations, display windows and robots.

Question: Is that a form of interpretation, that showroom dummies speak?
Ralf: It’s a part of our existence. We stand around and we put ourselves on display. We are showroom dummies. That is a part of our reality.

Question: How do you see yourselves when you are at work, as musicians or as technicians? 
Ralf: We are music workers. We call ourselves music workers.

Ralf: For ten years we’ve been working together, with this group in Düsseldorf, and outsiders can’t even work with us or speak our language — let’s say, our thoughts, they can’t implement our world of thoughts. So it’s more like an encounter or friendship.

Question: Do you feel yourselves to be somewhat isolated?
Ralf: Yes, we are exiles in Düsseldorf on the Rhine.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
David Lynch is throwing a very Lynchian music & film festival (and it’ll probably be a weird blast)
06.21.2016
03:49 pm

Topics:
Movies
Music
Television

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David Lynch is like our nation’s super-fun, super-weird uncle, and it’s high time that he decided to get involved with a music festival. To his credit, he’s not riding the coattails of an established festival but has started one up from scratch.

It’s called the Festival of Disruption, and it’s going to happen in downtown Los Angeles on October 8 and 9. Lynch has put together the kind of impressive lineup of guests that you can only muster if you’ve long since become Hollywood royalty (albeit in a surrealist sort of way).

The headliners are Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters. Joining them will be St. Vincent, Questlove, and Rhye, as well as a performance of music from Twin Peaks involving Sky Ferreira, Xiu Xiu, and Lynch’s axiomatic composer Angelo Badalamenti.

There will also be “talks” with figures such as the stars of Lynch’s masterpiece Blue Velvet (Kyle MacLachlan & Laura Dern), Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, and Mel Brooks, who was Lynch’s producer on The Elephant Man. There will also be screenings of Lynch’s films, daily Transcendental Meditation sessions, and more.

The venue is the Ace Theatre Hotel and Theatre, located at 929 South Broadway. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 24th at 10:00 a.m. PST. 100% of the proceeds will benefit the David Lynch Foundation, whose mission is reducing toxic stress and trauma among at-risk populations, including victims of domestic violence, veterans suffering from PTSD, and underserved urban youth, through the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation technique.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Jerry Lewis and sleazeball porn king Al Goldstein demonstrate electronic gizmos on morning TV, 1976
06.21.2016
03:08 pm

Topics:
Science/Tech
Television

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Fans of Jerry Lewis are well aware of his interest in technology, even if the stories of his inventing the video assist appear to distort the truth a trifle. For his part, publisher Al Goldstein’s best-known property was Screw, but he also developed a newsletter called Gadgets that sought to test new electronic devices on the market.

Someone had the bright idea of bringing the two men together for a segment of A.M. New York (a local competitor to the morning juggernaut of the Today program) that ran on February 23, 1976, with the assignment of introducing the viewer to a bunch of expensive devices.

The host at this time was named Stanley Siegel, and the devices are pretty amusing for being ridiculous in the era of the iPhone (which they obviously couldn’t help).

And expensive!! You could get a gold watch with a calculator on the face—for $3,900! (That’s more than $16,000 in today’s money.) How many meetings would have to be saved by instantaneously solving some simple arithmetic problem before that kind of thing would begin to pay for itself? Ditto the briefcase with a phone in it, which was priced at a relatively reasonable $2,200 (nearly ten grand today).

There’s also the most phallic corkscrew you have ever seen and a strange device filled with strips of paper that’s supposed to serve as an oracle of some sort.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Alternative Society’: Unusual 1971 BBC counterculture doc takes young people’s ideas seriously
06.21.2016
02:07 pm

Topics:
Television

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On May 24, 1971, the BBC program New Horizons ran a documentary about the new youth culture under the title “The Alternative Society.” Rather than make jokes at the expense of empty-headed young hippies, the segment, which runs about 22 minutes in this video (although it is missing both the start and the end) chose to seek the validity in the new generation’s need to communicate, experiment with illegal drugs, create new fashions and music, create social services separate from those provided by the state, and so on.

Featured in the show are several important figures from the U.K. counterculture scene who have popped up on DM before. For instance, the man addressing the camera in the opening sequence is Richard Neville, whose groundbreaking underground newspaper OZ has been highlighted at DM several times.

Caroline Coon, an artist, music journalist and activist (who was featured in the documentary She’s a Punk Rocker) is interviewed as the founder of Release, which was a parallel organization to NORML in the U.S., providing legal services to those charged with drug possession. In the years to come she would become romantically involved with Paul Simonon of the Clash (she briefly managed the group) and serve as technical advisor on the cult punk movie Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains.
 

 
The narrator of “The Alternative Society” is Harvey Matusow, an extremely interesting fellow who was primarily known as being an FBI informer in the 1950s but worked with people in the Fluxus movement and not long after this documentary got involved with a hippie commune called Brotherhood of the Spirit. Always a joiner (or something), in the late 1970s he became a Mormon and took on the name Job Matusow.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Wait, what? There was a ‘secret’ fifth roommate on ‘The Young Ones’ the whole time???
06.20.2016
02:18 pm

Topics:
Television

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Here he/she the fifth flatmate is, posing in a group photo—not even a still from the show. “Cousin It” much?
 
It’s like a gag straight out of Arrested Development, one that rewards maximum viewer attention and perceptual skills, and no small amount of repeat viewing. It also reminds one of the brilliant trick in The Simpsons, of embedding an entire Schwarzenegger-ish action movie called ‘McBain’, one small snippet at a time, over dozens of episodes.

So it seems that The Young Ones, the celebrated “punk sitcom” that ran on BBC2 from 1982 to 1984 and on MTV starting in 1985, had a running gag buried so incredibly deep that it’s not much of an exaggeration to say that nearly nobody noticed that it was even happening… for years.

Anyone who knows the show can list off the four flatmates in a matter of seconds—Neil, Rick (“Prick”), Vyvyan, and Mike-the-Cool-Person.

Four flatmates, easy peasy, right? But wait—there were actually five flatmates, and one of them never was given a single line of dialogue and could only be spotted in the background of scenes while other action was happening. Not just in a single episode or anything like that, but in every single episode of the first series. That constitutes 6 of the 12 episodes that were produced, the relevant episode titles are “Demolition,” “Oil,” “Boring,” “Bomb,” “Interesting,” and “Flood.” (These episodes featured musical apparances by Madness and Dexys Midnight Runners. Motörhead was in Series 2.)
 

Murky but unmistakable: The fifth flatmate
 
The fifth flatmate doesn’t have a name and, judging from his (her?) hairstyle, appears to have been a homage of sorts to Cousin It from The Addams Family.

Hilariously, one of the creators of the show, Ben Elton, was asked about the mysterious figure and he claimed to have zero knowledge of the character: “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about I’m afraid. There were four housemates plus the Landlord.”

However, a director from the show confirmed that the extra person in the scenes was not an accident. Geoff Posner went on the record thus:
 

So if my memory serves me correctly, Paul Jackson and I thought it would be fun to have some ghostly figure in the background of some scenes that was never explained or talked about. Hair all over the face so you shouldn’t be able to decipher gender either. The fact we forgot to do it consistently through the series shows what a bunch of amateurs we were in them days.

 
The findings were posted on YouTube—below you can click on the case for the prosecution. My mind is blown!
 

 
via Business Insider Australia

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young & TOM JONES?
06.14.2016
12:38 pm

Topics:
Music
Television

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CSNY painted by Guy Peellaert in ‘Rock Dreams’
 
Although Neil Young apparently hated doing TV shows—one of the main reasons he supposedly left the Buffalo Springfield in 1967 was not wanting to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson—by 1969 Young had given a bit on this front, as he agreed to appear along with David Crosby, Graham Nash and Stephen Stills on the This is Tom Jones TV show. CSNY did a short “You Don’t Have To Cry” and then the Welsh belter joined them, as was the custom on his program.

From Jimmy McDonough’s Young bio, Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography:

September 6 also brought a surreal appearance on the This Is Tom Jones variety show, featuring Jones himself bellowing lead vocal on Crosby’s “Long Time Gone.”

“It was highly rated, sold a lotta records, but in retrospect it was embarrassing, just a bad call’, said Elliot Roberts. ‘Neil went, ‘The Tom Jones show! What possessed you? It’s that shit.’ He always used to say ‘that shit’. Crosby had this weed of doom… Neil never forgave me for that. He ripped me about it for a very, very long time. Years.’”

 

 
Given that nearly five decades have passed since this was taped, it’s actually pretty amazing. Nothing to be ashamed of, certainly. Tom Jones and his show might’ve been seen as somewhat “square” by the rockstar standards of CSNY—Nash would’ve been acquainted with the Welsh singer from his days in the Hollies, no doubt—but the man’s mighty lungs inspire the rest of them to keep up, it must be said. I love how (an obviously manic) Stephen Stills rises to the occasion with his, er, intense vocal contribution near the end. Bassist Greg Reeves might’ve only been fifteen years old when this was shot—look at how skinny he was—and that’s Dallas Taylor on drums. You’ll note how the expression on Young’s face goes from one of disdain/‘What am I doing here?” to “This fucking rocks” about halfway through. The goofy expression on Croz’s mug needs no further explanation.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Cute Couple Alert: King Crimson’s Robert Fripp & Toyah Willcox on ‘All Star Mr & Mrs’
06.14.2016
09:59 am

Topics:
Music
Television

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They’d only just met a second time in 1985, but within a week, King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp asked singer/actress Toyah Willcox to marry him. They did so on Robert’s 40th birthday in 1986, when the pint-sized “force of nature,” to hear him describe his wife, was 28.

That they are still very happily wed decades later—and the fact that they’re both famous, of course—qualified them for an appearance on All Star Mr & Mrs, the ITV game show where celeb couples compete for charity. In this episode, which aired on May 8th, 2013, Toyah and her crafty guitarist hubby squared off against BBC sports presenter Gabby Logan and her husband, and EastEnders actor Jake Wood—who is best known on these shores as the voice of the GEICO gecko—and his wife.
 

 
I can’t imagine that this was Fripp’s idea, but it’s absolutely adorable that he went along with it. Who would have thought the fiercely intellectual Robert Fripp could be this… cute???
 

Frippercakes?

His adoring wife, obviously. This IS cute, make no mistake about it, and it shows a side of Robert Fripp—quite a big part of his personality, I’d say, from the looks of things here—that few outside of his immediate circle are likely to have seen before.

The clip, after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Megaplex’: A celebration of the super ‘awesome’ 1980s in all its cheesy glory
06.13.2016
03:29 pm

Topics:
Movies
Television

Tags:


 
The 1980s… Madonna sang that she felt “shiny and new,” and so felt we all. Or most of us, anyway. The gritty realism of ‘70s cinema and the social commentary of ‘70s TV—incoming President Reagan apparently banished it all, and the emphasis in entertainment was squarely on fantasy and transformation.

Smash TV, the megamix geniuses recently responsible for “Skinemax” and “Memorex” have completed the third installment, titled “Megaplex.”

To watch “Megaplex” is to be transported into a gleaming and undeniably mind-boggling place dominated by lasers, cyborgs, break-dancing, video games, pro wrestling, and—most importantly—transformative shafts of light. The disbelieving eyeballs repeatedly emphasize the crucial role of wonder in the 1980s aesthetic. The key word for a teenager coming of age during the go-go cable TV Reagan years, as co-creator Ben Craw told me in an email, is “awesome”:
 

When you’re age 4 to about 11, everything is so, so awesome. You are naive, and you haven’t matured yet to the point of irony or self awareness, so not only is everything awesome but you have no sense of shame or restraint in pursuing what you think is awesome.

 
When you’re dscussing the awesomeness of the 1980s, you have to mention Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and, to a lesser extent, Hulk Hogan, and this video features plenty of all of them. (There’s an amazing montage of winning moves from Stallone’s ode to arm-wrestling, Over the Top.)
 

Christopher Walken in Brainstorm
 
It’s tricky to define just what magical thing “Megaplex” is intent on capturing, but it has something to do with the new possibilities afforded by technology. Key texts include the original Tron, Highlander, Electric Dreams, The Last Dragon, Cocoon, Total Recall, Brainstorm...... I’m leaving out so, so many.

Craw’s partner Brendan Shields says that the intent was “to boil down a ton of movies to their most visually interesting couple of minutes and recontextualize them into something bizarre and beautiful.” For his part, Craw says that the video was driven by the need to acknowledge “love for the movie theater, love for the home video, love for cable, it’s all wrapped up together for us.”

Click below to see the video. Note that there is a disclaimer at the start warning of the possibility of “seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy.”
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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