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Led Zeppelin perform their first live set on TV, 1969
05.31.2016
09:56 am

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture
Television

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Led Zeppelin’s appearance on Danish television in 1969 is one of the classic moments of rock music history. It was Zeppelin’s second time on television but their very first playing a full live set of songs in front of a studio audience—they had previously lip-synched to “Communication Breakdown” for Swedish TV.

What is surprising watching this superb concert is the audience’s lack of response to Zeppelin’s fully charged performance. They sit listening intently showing little enthusiasm for what they’re hearing. For guitarist Jimmy Page this sort of apathy was part of the appeal of launching his newly formed band in Scandinavia:

They don’t cheer too madly there, you know? We were really scared, because we only had about fifteen hours to practice together. It was sort of an experimental concert to see if we were any good. I guess.

 
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An advert for Zeppelin’s first gig together as ‘the Yardbirds med Jimmy Page’ in 1968.
 
Zeppelin first appeared under the name The Yardbirds with Jimmy Page at the Gladsaxe Teen Club in Denmark on September 7th, 1968. They developed their prowess touring Denmark and Sweden over the following months. However not everyone was convinced of this new band as one Swedish reviewer of their early gigs at the Inside Club in Stockholm noted:

It has been up and down for the Yardbirds. A couple of years ago, they were on top. For a while, a lot of people thought that the Yardbirds would lead the developing English pop but their efforts led nowhere.

The members changed and the Yardbirds currently touring Sweden have very little in common with the original line-up. It is not only the line-up that has changed. The style of music is different, as is the quality - only the name is the same.

Friday night they played the Inside. They were so loud it almost hurt. Sometimes playing loud has an important role in pop, but here it was just superficial effect.

More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Must-see footage from Samla Mammas Manna, Sweden’s prog-rock fusion jazz rascals
05.27.2016
02:58 pm

Topics:
Music
Television

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Samla Mammas Manna was a prog rock band that was active during the 1970s and later that seems to have been Sweden’s closest approximation to Frank Zappa. Samla Mammas Manna was musically accomplished and willing to wander all over the map into outright experimentation, and they were also quite funny, a bit like how Zappa was funny. Samla Mammas Manna maybe brought a little less edge to its humor than Zappa did. They were highly adventurous musicians of an exacting and exuberant nature.

The phrase “Samla Mammas Manna” is Swedish for “Collect Mama’s manna” and undoubtedly was chosen for its mellifluous ring, it’s something akin to a tongue-twister. According to François Couture, SMM’s second album Måltid (“Mealtime”) combined “free improvisation, Scandinavian folklore, progressive rock motifs, and Amon Düül II-like short songs.” Doesn’t that sound tasty?

In the late 1970s Samla Mammas Manna was one of the founding partcipants in the Rock in Opposition (RIO) movement, which was very influential throughout Europe. In 1979 SMM signed up to be Fred Frith’s backing band on his first solo album following the breakup of Henry Cow, 1980’s Gravity.
 

Klossa Knapitatet
 
In this clip, the year is 1974. The members of the band amiably answer a few questions from the noted guitarist Stefan Grossman before breaking into a phenomenal rendition of material off of SMM’s third album Klossa Knapitatet, which was a new album that year. Judging from the comments on the YouTube thread, Swedes are very familiar with this band.

If nothing else, Samla Mammas Manna had one of the most entertaining drummers it’s ever been my pleasure to watch. The creativity and joy on display here are positively infectious.

Should this clip appeal to you, I promise you there is much more of the same on the studio albums.
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight: Watch Sha Na Na totally kill it live on German TV in 1973
05.27.2016
10:17 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Television

Tags:


The Kings of New York, Sha Na Na
 
Those of you that are of (ahem) a certain age will certainly remember faux-50’s band Sha Na Na not only for their music but also for their syndicated television show that ran from 1977 to 1981. I was absolutely obsessed with that show, and adored the band’s goofy antics and faithful fashion homages to the 1950s from the top of their greased back hair, to the seams on the famous gold lamé pants worn by Frederick “Dennis” Greene, Johnny “Kid” Contardo, and Scott “Tony Santini” on the show—one of the most popular in TV syndication at the time.

In addition to appearances in the film 1978 Grease (where the band was depicted as a fictional 1950s band called Johnny Casino and the Gamblers), Sha Na Na was also featured on the films wildly popular soundtrack, and the tearjerker “Sandy” (sung by John Travolta) was co-written by Sha Na Na’s Screamin’ Scott Simon, who got his start with the band playing piano back in 1970, and still performs with them to this day. In this footage (which I’m pretty sure is gonna blow your mind), the band performs nineteen songs for the enthusiastic studio audience in attendance for a taping of German music television show Musikladen in 1973.
 

 
From the minute they hit the stage, it’s clear that we are all in for some high-octane doo-wop, class-act choreography, and the visual treat that is the gangly, rock-and-roll Frankenstein known as “Bowzer” (Jon Bauman)—he’s probably the most recognizable member of the group, too. Since departing Sha Na Na, Bauman continues to tour as his alter-ego “Bowzer” with his group The Stingrays and was also instrumental in helping the passage of the Truth in Music Act—a law that protects musicians and bands from identity theft. Now that’s fucking rock and roll.
 

The gold lamé suits worn by Sha Na Na that drove my young libido into overdrive back in the late 70s
 
And what about those skin-tight gold lamé suits (pictured above)? While conducting my very important “research” for this post, I discovered that all three of them are currently up for sale (along with the matching gold lamé boots and belts, thank you very much) for the tidy sum of $2,500. A small price to pay for a piece of rock and roll history that I’d do almost anything to squeeze myself into (those boys were tight back in the day, to say the least). I’ve probably watched this footage at least five times since stumbling on it and every time I do, it gets better. As one commenter on the Youtube page said, “this deserves a million likes.” To which I say AMEN, brother. If you dig it as much as I do, you can get your very own DVD of the show, here. Enjoy!
 

Sha Na Na on German music television show, Musikladen in 1973.
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Game of Thrones’ Hodor door stoppers
05.25.2016
10:55 am

Topics:
Television

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Okay, so I’m going to have to keep this post spoiler-free for all you Game of Thrones fans who haven’t seen the latest episode yet. All I’m going to do is park this delightful Hodor door stopper right here without explanation and let you all know it’s available on Etsy for $25.00. You can get it here.

I’ve found other Hodor door stoppers (featured below) but I have no idea if they’re available for purchase yet.


 

 

 
via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘American Horror Story’ tarot cards
05.23.2016
01:02 pm

Topics:
Occult
Television

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‎Ligne claire whiz Derek Eads has concocted a gorgeous tarot set for fans of FX’s creepy shudder-fest American Horror Story.

Using the stately Art Nouveau AHS typeface and precise red/white/black drawings on a muted dark slate gray background, Eads has wittily taken some of the gore and shock out of the familiar cast of bone-chilling monster (and their victims).

In the deck, Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) from season 2 occupies the role of Judgement, while The Hermit is the “pinhead” Pepper from seasons 2 & 4 (Naomi Grossman); triple-breasted Desiree Dupree from season 4 (Angela Bassett) is the Chariot, and Iris the hotel clerk from season 5 (Kathy Bates) is the Hierophant. Eads changed the title of season 5’s Elizabeth Bathory (Lady Gaga) from Countess to Empress, whereas the High Priestess is journalist Lana Winters from season 2 (Sarah Paulson).

There’s no better choice for the Devil than season 3’s Papa Legba (Lance Reddick), and the AHS may have had a tarot deck in mind when they introduced the winged Angel of Death (Frances Conroy) in season 2.

The rest, we’ll let you figure out for yourself.

You can purchase the full set from Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles for just $25.
 

The Fool/The Magician
 

The High Priestess/The Empress
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Of punk rockers, Bad Brains, CBGB & ‘Quincy’: Charming local news segment on hardcore, 1982
05.23.2016
10:36 am

Topics:
Punk
Television

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This is another one of those fun, seen-in-retrospect “time capsules” about how allegedly scary punk rock was supposed to be, whilst presenting footage of kids who seem anything but scary. Misfits? Sure. Scary? No.

The time was pinpointed by one of the people interviewed as either 1982 or 1983. The segment was from something called called “2 on the Town” and I’m gonna guess that this was something seen on the local CBS affiliate in New York at the time. Dig the “Let’s Get Physical” location of the host wraparound. Instead of using an actual hardcore punk soundtrack, for some (bad) reason, they decided to cut it to David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” and “Turning Japanese” by the Vapors. Despite this, there’s a choice clip of the Bad Brains and a look at the sort of explosive melee they inspired. We also see a bit of the infamous “punk” episode of Quincy followed by some disgruntled teenage commentary about it.

There’s even an interview with a cool mom!

See it after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Smashing Pumpkins—very early on—live for an hour on a local Chicago TV show, 1988
05.23.2016
09:00 am

Topics:
Music
Television

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Smashing Pumpkins
 
What you are about to see is some pretty incredible early footage of the Smashing Pumpkins performing songs from their first demo tape on a local Chicago television show, The Pulse back in 1988.

While the producer of The Pulse Lou Hinkhouse had heard the buzz on the street regarding the band, he hadn’t yet heard their music. Corgan had just moved back to Chicago from Florida after ditching his gig as the vocalist and guitarist of The Marked. After meeting up with James Iha, the two started writing music together with the help of a drum machine (much like his days with The Marked), and were soon doing live gigs around Chicago. Corgan then hooked up with bassist D’arcy Wretzky and the Smashing Pumpkins became a trio. After some urging, Corgan ditched the drum machine and enlisted a human timekeeper, Jimmy Chamberlin. Hinkhouse was “blown away” by the demo and immediately contacted Corgan (who was just 21 at the time), and asked if the band would perform on the show’s “Basement Jam” segment.
 

A 21-year-old Billy Corgan
 
With only a few live gigs under their belt, the Pumpkins agreed to Hinkhouse’s proposal and in the footage below you will see and hear the band perform nine songs, “There it Goes,” “She,” “Under Your Spell,” “My Eternity,” “Bleed,” “Nothing and Everything,” “Jennifer Ever,” “Death of a Mind (that would later be called “Sun” on the 1991 album, Gish),” and the blistering track, “Spiteface.” According to Corgan, during this early time period when the band was still developing their own sound, they were heavily digging on the melancholy sounds of “sad-rock” being made by bands like The Cure…

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
This ‘Twin Peaks’/‘Clue’ mashup board game needs to be mass produced like NOW
05.19.2016
12:28 pm

Topics:
Games
Television

Tags:


 
Very much like “Monopoly,” the enduringly popular board game “Clue” (known as “Cluedo” in the civilized world) has goosed its sales by offering niche-y special editions, mostly for franchises with heavy geek appeal—Firefly, Harry Potter, D&D, Game of Thrones, even that god damn Big Bang Theory crap. But somehow the gaming world has been mighty lean on Twin Peaks tie-ins. I searched in vain for board games, card games, video games, anything. I find this baffling—a murder mystery with a massive ensemble of odd characters would seem a natural for a board game, but evidently the only one that ever existed was regarded very poorly and is now a bit difficult to come by, even in internetland.

So I would Kickstart the absolute living hell out of this: way back in 2007, a Craftster forum user by the handle of “riverwatson” posted a detourned Twin Peaks version of “Clue,” renaming the conservatory, kitchen, study et al things like “The Red Room,” “One Eyed Jack’s,” “The Palmer Residence,” and subbing the show’s characters in for Professor Plum, Miss Scarlet and Colonel Mustard. (I hope it goes without saying that Laura Palmer is Mr. Boddy?)
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
We’ve been expecting you: George Harrison’s charming ‘Crackerbox Palace’ short directed by Eric Idle
05.18.2016
02:32 pm

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Music
Television

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George Harrison’s 1976 hit “Crackerbox Palace,” the second single from his Thirty Three & 1/3 album, is one of those vaguely worded songs (Sample lyric: “Sometimes are good . . . sometimes are bad. That’s all a part of life”) that could be just about anything. It’s a happy little tune that you could project just about any happy thoughts onto while you hum along.

In actual fact, the song was written about his visit to the Los Angeles home of the great Beatnik comic, Lord Buckley, after a chance meeting with Buckley’s former manager George Grief in France. Harrison was a big admirer of Buckley (as was Frank Zappa) and thought the name of his house would make a great song title. The song includes references to both George Greif (“I met a Mr. Greif”) and to his Lordship (“know that the Lord is well and inside of you”).
 

 
Monty Python member Eric Idle directed a promo film for “Crackerbox Palace” that was shown on SNL (along with another for “This Song”) that featured Neil Innes (in drag and in other weird costumes). Harrison appeared—as himself and as “Pirate Bob” his sea-shanty singing alter ego—on Idle and Innes’ BBC Rutland Weekend Television, on the show’s Christmas special.
 

A compilation of Harrison’s bits on the ‘Rutland Weekend Television’ Christmas special
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Snorting Coke with the BBC’: A tabloid romp through the BBC’s most notorious drug scandals
05.12.2016
04:30 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Drugs
Television

Tags:

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In a past life I made documentaries for television. These were mainly hour long arts films on artists like Francis Bacon and Virginia Woolf, or what was then described as “factual entertainment” shows on celebrities, their obsessions and misdemeanors—these ranged from Peter Sellers to Freddie Mercury. One of the many tabloid tales was a romp through the stories of four BBC presenters and their unfortunate dabbling with a Class A drug.

Called Snorting Coke with the BBC this documentary is small fry compared to the scale and horror of recent scandals that have engulfed the BBC since—see DM passim. The program focused on four highly successful presenters whose lives were unraveled by a liking for the sherbets.

These four men were:

Frank Bough—a likeable, avuncular, seemingly very, very ordinary breakfast time host who had a secret life enjoying the pleasures of drugs, cross-dressing and S&M dungeons.

Richard Bacon—another highly likeable, pleasant, young children’s presenter who was grassed up about having a snort after a night out with friends.

Angus Deayton—an acerbic, witty, actor-cum-quiz show host whose private life almost destroyed his career.

Johnnie Walker—a legendary radio DJ who was ensnared by a fake sheik journalist in a very underhanded sting.

Like most—or at least many—of the people who work in the media, this quartet had sampled the delights of powdered goods. Unfortunately for them—they were caught out in lurid and rather unfair tabloid exposes.

By being caught, these four individuals placed the BBC in a very difficult position. In many respects, the Beeb was being led by the nose (ahem) on how to respond to their stars’ misdemeanors.

The names may not be well known outside of the UK—but that honestly doesn’t matter as the stories are interesting, well-explained and still have a certain relevance to today.

This is how broadcaster Channel 4 described the program on its release in August 2003:

Snorting Coke with the BBC takes a wry look at some of the most highly publicised cases of BBC TV and radio celebrities caught using drugs and examines the attitude of the media towards their behaviour, their subsequent fall from grace and, in some cases, their rehabilitation. Frank Bough, Johnnie Walker, Richard Bacon and Angus Deayton are the stars featured as the circumstances surrounding their dismissal from the BBC are examined. Along with their cocaine use, Frank, Johnnie and Angus were caught in various sexually compromising positions, raising questions about the connection between drugs and sex.

The programme looks at the reaction of their employers, their colleagues and the press to what happened, asking if their response was at times an over-reaction, or if there were inconsistencies in the way that they were dealt with.

Amongst those interviewed are journalists, presenters and media commentators (including the now ubiquitous Piers Morgan and current CEO of the New York Times, Mark Thompson) who all discuss the BBC, the media and their relationship to drugs.

More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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