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Party for Everyone: The Buranovo Grannies represent Russia at Eurovision 2012

Ah, it’s getting near that time of year again, when the very best of European culture, as represented by bad songs, interpretative dance, fake tans, hair extensions and political in-fighting battle, battle it out, in front of a world-wide television audience, to win the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

As always, there is a host of strange, unlikely and bizarre entries, most notably this year are the pensioners who will be representing the U.K. and Russia.

The legendary Englebert Humperdinck will be carrying the weight of Britain’s hopes on his velvet-suited, 75-year-old shoulders, and he may well end up winning it for the U.K., which would be the first time that has happened since Katrina and The Waves back in 1997.

But for those with a betting streak, the interesting outsider is a group of 6 grandmothers representing Russia with their unlikely Euro Pop song “Party for Everyone”. The “Buranovo Grannies” beat 24 other acts to win the honor of singing for their country, reports the BBC:

Buranovskiye Babushki, from the Udmurt Republic, say they will use any cash raised to build a church in Buranovo.
“Grandmothers do not need glory and wealth,” a member told Vesti news.

The singer, named only as “Grandmother Olga”, said building the village church was their “only goal”.

Their winning song, which begins as a traditional folk tune before a modern dance beat kicks in, features the refrain, “party for everybody, come on and dance”.

The lyrics to the song, which feature a mixture of English and Udmurt - a language related to Finnish - were written by the grandmothers.

Buranovskiye Babushki became known in Russia with covers - sung in Udmurt - of classics including the Beatles’ Yesterday and the Eagles’ Hotel California.

For novelty value alone, the Grannies are well in with a chance. Qualifying heats for the Eurovision Song Contest take place between 22-26 May, so let’s see how far these gallus Grannies can go.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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‘Community’ returns!: Watch the trailer
12:05 pm



I seriously can’t wait for this!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Steven Severin: Interviewed on ‘Music Box’ from 1987

Steven Severin has always been cool as fuck. From when he first appeared on TV, looking edgy at the back of the infamous Bill Grundy interview that launched The Sex Pistols’ “filth and the fury” onto the nation, through Siouxsie and The Banshees, to his position now as one of our leading film composers. Just take a look at Mr. Severin in this interview for Music Box, from 1987, with his blonde crop and silk waistcoat, and compare him to the mullet haired interviewer, who looks like he’s come off the set of Miami Vice, or failed the audition for Conan the Barbarian, again. Mr. Severin has always been ahead of the pack, and that’s what makes him so interesting musically, creatively, intellectually, and in his sense of style.

In this brief, rare interview, Steven discusses how he first met Siouxsie (at a Roxy Music concert in 1975); why the band’s line-up has changed for the better; his thoughts on being the first band to tour Argentina since the Falklands war; why The Banshees recorded “Dear Prudence” in Stockholm; and how tax problems affected The Glove, his band with Robert Smith.

Steven Severin is touring with his superb score for Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr in May and June this year, details here, where you can also buy a copy of his Vampyr CD.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

The Glove: Robert Smith and Steven Severin’s experimental side-project


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Klaus Nomi on ‘Real People,’ 1979
12:14 pm

Pop Culture

Klaus Nomi

Whimsical segment from the seventies prime time TV program Real People featuring Klaus Nomi, Joey Arias and others (I also spotted a young John Sex and Kenny Scharf frugging away) dancing in the window of the Fiorucci boutique, which used to be across the street from Bloomingdales.

I used to buy blue jeans there, of all things…

Previously on Dangeorus Minds
The East Village Preservation Society: Club 57’s Ann Magnuson & Kenny Scharf

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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NY Dolls on Don Kirshner’s ‘Rock Concert’ in full

The New York Dolls deranging the airwaves in 1975.

1. (There’s Gonna Be a) Showdown
2. Stranded in the Jungle
3. Trash
4. Chatterbox
5. Don’t You Start Me Talking
6. Personality Crisis

The shock heard around the block…the rest of the world didn’t get it. But don’t blame me. I bought tickets for their show at a strip joint in Boulder, Colorado but the Dolls canceled. Not enough advance ticket sales. The hippies and mountain climbers were too busy smoking dope and waiting for Poco to pull into town.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Excellent documentary on the life of Sylvester

If there’s any one artist who represents everything that was revolutionary about disco music, it was Sylvester. It doesn’t matter how many Bee Gees, Ethel Mermans, Rod Stewarts, Boney Ms et al you can throw at the genre as a reason to hate it, the fact is that if it wasn’t for disco there is no way that a linebacker-sized, black, openly gay, outrageous, gender-bending performer like him could have reached the top of the world’s charts.

Sylvester broke every taboo going. In fact he didn’t just break them: he tore them up, threw them on the floor and stamped on them with uproarious glee, all while dragging you out to dance with his irresistable energy. He didn’t have to shout about any of his social or political inclinations because he was already living them, out in the open, for everyone to see.

Sylvester didn’t make “political music” because he didn’t have to: Sylvester’s very existence was inherently political.

That to me is the rub when it comes down to “disco” versus “punk”, and all that bullshit snobbery and scorn rock fans heaped on disco. Contrast Sylvester with any one of the gangs of middle class, straight, angry-at-whatever white boys that were supposedly turning the world upside down in the name of “punk” and it becomes clear who was really pushing social boundaries.

The fact that the music was instantaneous and accessible only deepens the subversive effect. It’s unfortunate that “disco” has become an easy way to dismiss that which genuinely does not fit the rock cannon’s hardened mould, be it for reasons of race, gender or sexuality, but the music itself never died away. It reverberates still with an incredible, universal power. Sylvester was a supremely talented vocalist and performer, and I just couldn’t take seriously any music aficionado who claimed not to be moved by “(You Make Me Feel) Mighty Real” (not to mention “I Who Have Nothing,” “I Need You,” “Do You Wanna Funk,” “I Need Somebody To Love Tonight,” etc, etc.)

And besides, if I had a choice between a bunch of white punk boys or black drag queens, I know who I’d rather party with.

Unsung is a series produced by TV One profiling some of the more over-looked, yet supremely talented, names in black music from the 70s and 80s. There’s much to enjoy here if soul, funk and R&B are your thing. Other artists covered include Teddy Pendergrass, Zapp, Rose Royce, the Spinners and many more.

But for now let’s just enjoy the uplifting, touching and ultimately tragic story of the real queen of disco music:

Thanks to Paul Gallagher!

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
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Lords Of The New Church and the seduction of the innocent

Stiv getting the V.I.P. treatment at The Starwood, Los Angeles. Photo: Jenny Lens.
Lords Of The New Church appearance on this 1982 edition of Nickelodeon’s ‘Live Wire’ is really quite extraordinary. Stiv Bators seems in a fugue state (probably hadn’t slept) as he talks about dreams, trance writing and the mystical act of creating music. And the young female audience not only gets it, they’re intrigued and curious. As Edgar Allen Poe is evoked, a sweet and acrid scent of blossoming gothettes fills the air and the cathode ray tube transmitting the vibe flickers like the shadows of falling angels bisecting the rays of a dead moon. Yes, these pubescent blond women will be going home and dying their hair jet black tonight and in the afternoon when they wake they will see themselves as they truly are: trash, beautiful unadulterated trash, and they will go forth and become slaves to the Lords of rock and work in strip joints to buy their heavy metal lovermen new guitars and tight leather pants. Yes, ‘Live Wire’ was the secret spawning ground for a generation of enslaved rock bitches. Nickelodeon, the Devil’s network

In the mid-80s my band was on a tour of West Coast clubs that was one day behind The Lords tour of the same. We’d arrive the day after The Lords had played the club the night before. As part of Stiv’s stage show he would place his head in a noose and swing out over the audience. The following day when my band would arrive at the club there was usually a piece of cut rope still dangling from a ceiling beam. Like Hansel and Gretel, Stiv had left his trail behind him, a lethally impotent necklace of hemp  

Stiv Bators was one of the sweetest men I’ve ever known. He was fearless, reckless and foolish. He thought his body was immortal but a taxi cab in Paris proved him wrong.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon interviewed on NYC TV 1982

Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon talk about the infamous Bond’s concerts, their image, the film project with Don Letts Clash On Broadway which was eventually abandoned, New York City…and more. This was broadcast in 1982 on the NBC affiliate in NYC.

The intent of Clash On Broadway was to document the events and performances centering around the band’s historic seventeen consecutive shows at Bond’s International, a club located in Time’s Square, NYC, extending from May 28-June 13, 1981. Footage included Topper Headon strolling around NYC at night & being interviewed while riding in a taxi, the group sitting on a rooftop watching a group of young black kids rap and breakdance, the graffitti artist Futura plying his trade, the backstage scene, and stellar performances from the Bond’s shows.

Although the film itself never materialized, the footage that was shot provided the basis for the “This is Radio Clash” video and formed much of the backbone of Letts’ 2000 documentary of The Clash, Westway to the World.”

The interviewer is Sue Simmons and she’s quite good as is Joe’s fairly new dental work.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Patrick Magee: Stunning performance in Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape

After Samuel Beckett heard Patrick Magee read extracts form his novel Molloy and From Abandoned Work on the radio, he wrote a one act play specifically for the Northern Irish actor. Beckett said Magee’s voice “was the one which he heard inside his mind,” and best suited his intentions for this dark and disturbing monologue on creativity, memory and mortality. Originally titled “Magee Monologue”, it soon became Krapp’s Last Tape.

Krapp’s Last Tape focuses on a man reviewing his life through a series of recordings, each made on the eve of his birthday. Krapp is a sixty-nine year-old, would-be writer who still believes he has the potential to create a great work of art, which will change the world. On listening to his past recordings, Krapp becomes aware of the different aspects of his life that have shaped him. Memory defines who he is, while wearing him down, limiting and inhibiting, until finally, impotent and in despair, Krapp recognizes the futility of his ambitions to create something, anything meaningful.

I suppose you could call this “playwright has mid-life crisis”, but still its themes are universal, and hit at the core of personal creativity and ambition.

Magee originally performed the play at the Royal Court Theater in 1958, under the direction of Donald McWhinnie, and this is the BBC 1972 version of that famous production.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Debbie Harry on kids’ TV show in 1980

Although DM featured this in the past, the video was pulled from YouTube but has now reappeared so I thought I’d share it again. It’s that good.

Kids Are People Too ran on Sunday mornings from 1978 to 1982 on ABC and featured a lot of topnotch rock and rollers including Patti Smith, Cheap Trick, Kiss, and the fabulous Debbie Harry.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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