Church gets in on the 4/20 Easter action: ‘Because you can’t get any higher than RISEN!’
04.18.2014
03:11 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Belief
Drugs

Tags:
Marijuana
420
Easter


 
Freedom Church, located in Los Angeles, is getting in on the 4/20 action this Easter with the tagline, “Because you can’t get any higher than RISEN!”

Yes. Yes, you can.

Apparently they’ve never smoked pure THC hash oil through a Healthstone waterpipe rig.


 

 
Via Christian Nightmares

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Fly the friendly skies of ‘Uniform Freak’


 
I blogged about Cliff Muskiet’s world of stewardess uniforms back in 2009. Shamefully, I haven’t visited it in a few years, but I did today and completely forgot what a treasure trove this site is! Muskiet has collected every single flight attendant uniform that has ever existed on the face of the planet. (Okay maybe not all of ‘em, but it’s pretty damned close!)

Ever since my early childhood, I have been interested and fascinated by the world of aviation. I used to collect everything that wore an airline name or logo, such as posters, postcards, stickers, timetables, safety cards and airplane models.

Sometime in 1980 I was given my first uniform by one of my mother’s friends. I was so excited and I wanted to have more uniforms. In 1982 I heard that two charter airlines were introducing new uniforms. I wasted no time, I called these airlines and as a result I was invited to pick up a set of old uniforms. Between 1982 and 1993 I didn’t do much to obtain any more uniforms, something I really regret now as I could have had many many more! Most of my uniforms were obtained between 1993 and today. At the moment my collection contains 1246 different uniforms from 469 airlines worldwide.

Uniform Freak—the name of Muskiet’s site—is truly a labor of love. And some serious eye candy if you’re a fashion designer or just someone who likes cool threads.

You’ll get lost there. I did. It’s an endless goldmine.
 

Air West / USA 1968 - 1971
 

Allegheny Airlines / USA 1969 - 1979
 

American Airlines / USA 1950 - 1979
 

Delta Airlines / USA 1958 - 1978
 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Meet the six-foot-tall George Harrison Marionette
04.18.2014
11:42 am

Topics:
Animation
Music

Tags:
George Harrison
puppets


 
This is a guest post written by Tabitha Vidaurri.

There exist a series of music videos of a life-sized, hand-made marionette of George Harrison. He sings songs like “Pisces Fish” and “Someplace Else” while strumming the guitar, banjo and ukulele. As a teen, I constructed a puppet of a blue cat wearing sunglasses and taped it singing “Land Down Under” by Men At Work, so when I laid eyes on this lovingly obsessive tribute to the Dark Horse himself, I immediately felt a kinship with whomever was responsible for its creation.

While I was not able to get in touch with the puppeteer, I did some digging and found that her name is Jenn, she has over 35 years of experience as a puppet builder and performer, and it took her six months to complete the George Harrison Marionette.

Jenn has also written about her project extensively on the Muppet and Steve Hoffman Music forums

Originally, ‘George’ was going to be much smaller…more the size of a traditional marionette (2 to 3 feet tall). Because of the complicated animations I had to build for the unique eyes, eyelids, and mouth, the size of ‘George’s’ head ended up being life size.


The puppet is is fully clothed in a store-bought two-piece suit, though Jenn notes she had some trouble finding non-leather, vegetarian-friendly men’s dress shoes. You Harrison fans will notice that the electric guitar used isn’t accurate, which is due to the fact that this was such a low-budget production. At $80, the tiny Dark Horse Records lapel pin on ‘George’s’ jacket was the single most expensive item used in the project.

A lot of love and nitpicky detailing went into this project to give ‘George’ a realistic appearance both in looks and movement.  His hands are completely pose-able thanks to an eternal ‘skeleton’ of stiff wires in his fingers. This enables him to mimic any playing position. His hands are also rich in detail, with knuckles, veins, and palm lines sculpted into them. The LP record cover of ‘Living in the Material World’ was used to insure his hands were correct to size.  I was adamant about having him be portrayed as himself, as a solo artist, instead of the far more common representation one sees of ‘Beatle George.’

The puppet is modeled off of late ‘80s/early ‘90s Harrison, a period when he was absent of facial hair and prone to wearing blazers. This era was chosen so ‘George’ would have the option to sing selections from the Traveling Wilburys catalog.

I admire Jenn’s devotion and peaceful attitude. She acknowledges that a 6-foot tall puppet—or puppets in general—may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but if it does happen to be your mug of Earl Grey, then this is just the tip of the iceberg:

‘George’ is wonderful company…a bit quiet though, and seems perpetually content. He is definitely a ‘presence’ in the room, which some might find disturbing (in a spooky sense) while others may find it charming. The few people who have been able to see him in person have noted this.


To learn more, visit the George Harrison Marionette Facebook Page.

The video for “My Sweet Lord” features a behind-the-scenes look at how the marionette works; ‘George’ is operated Thunderbirds-style, meaning there are no electronic elements used, and a total of fifteen strings control his movements:
 

 
Jenn also filmed a music video for “Life Itself” as a bigger production with multiple camera angles, even creating storyboards. The final product has candles and moody lighting, very much in the style of the early days of VH1:
 

 
This is a guest post written by Tabitha Vidaurri.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Mosh Pits (Human and Otherwise): Old master painting style captures the wildness of the crowd
04.18.2014
10:28 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Dan Witz


Byronesque, 2012
 
The art of Dan Witz evokes a sort of hyper-real trompe l’oeil technique, his digital and oil creations giving the viewer the impression they’re about to be enveloped into a mosh pit. The detail and life in his subjects are rendered uncanny as they explode from their featureless “non-space”—we see no bar, no doors, no defined walls, rarely even a floor. It is as if they’re moshing in the æther. Strange perspectives and stylized repetition also add to a slightly “off” feel of the work—Witz both captures the crowd and takes it out of context—the effect is electric. Witz’s work is too informed by old master painting techniques to be described as mere photorealism.

His “Byronic” series depicts the moshers as heroes in the fray, and the Romantic treatment of such modern subjects feels both intuitive and acute. However, Witz doesn’t stop at skinheads, hardcore kids and heshers. Depicting a rabble of businessmen and a pack of dogs, he thereby extends the definition of “mosh pit.” The parallels force the viewer to think about space and collectivity. His solo exhibition “NY Hardcore” will be on display at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City until May 3.
 

Byronesque 2, 2013
 

70 Commercial St, 2012
 

70 Commercial St, 2011
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
Things that go bump in the night: Vintage 1920s stereoview images of ghouls and goblins
04.18.2014
08:48 am

Topics:
Art
History

Tags:
stereoviews


 
These vintage stereoview images from 1923 of a little girl sleeping while goblins and boogeyman creep around her bed and hover over her are a little silly looking, yes. But, they’re still psychologically disturbing, tapping into the primordial fear of something under the bed like some kind of proto-David Lynch type imagery.

I’d imagine these scared the shit out of plenty of children—and probably some adults, too—back in the day. Heck, I’m a little a-scared of ‘em right now!

Wake up! Wake up!
 

 

 
More Boogymen after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Marks of a genius: Ray Harryhausen’s incredible creature drawings
04.18.2014
08:06 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Ray Harryhausen

30303yrayh.jpg
 
If it wasn’t a monster movie, then it wasn’t worth watching. That was my narrow view of cinema when I was a kid. There was the usual suspects of werewolves, vampires, gelatinous blobs from outer space, and stitched-together cadavers, but nothing thrilled quite as much as seeing one of Ray Harryhausen’s animated creatures move across the screen. Whether it was those ghoulish skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts; the Ray Bradbury-inspired Rhedosaurus that tore up New York City in The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms; the leathery terradactyl that picked up Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C.; or the octopus that brought down the Golden Gate Bridge; this was the kind of movie that made so many childhoods happy—mine included.

Harryhausen sketched out each of his ideas before turning them into models, and this is a small selection of his drawings for the films Jason and the Argonauts, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, the unmade War of the Worlds, Valley of the Gwangi, 20 Million Miles to earth, and One Million Years BC.
 
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More of Harryhausen’s incredible drawings after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Every Rolling Stones clip British Pathé just uploaded to YouTube
04.18.2014
07:52 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones
 
On Sunday newsreel archivist British Pathé uploaded 85,000 films, in high resolution, to its YouTube channel. An incredible, if sometimes a bit stodgy, resource that will be viewed countless of thousands of times in the years to come. Lots of things like the Hindenburg.

And pop culture too. I scoured the British Pathé YouTube presence for all of its Rolling Stones footage (mostly by entering in the term “Rolling Stones” in the appropriate place). This is what that quest produced: 12 videos covering the years 1964 to 1970. Some of them are collections of raw footage that made up some of the completed items you can also see here. A few of them have no sound at all. The concert footage from 1970 isn’t very good, esp. the sound (which is glumly conceded in the YouTube “About” area), but a number of the clips are excellent in their way.

The “Rolling Stones Gather Moss” video captures the Stones in their “Hard Day’s Night” phase, so to speak. They’re still in the Beatles mold—until you get to the performance section, where nobody would ever mistake these guys for the Beatles. The footage from Australia is pretty solid and the Hyde Park concert after the death of Brian Jones is also very good.

My favorite, though, is the weird footage of the audience at the Stones’ 1964 Hull concert. Someone’s going to make a pretty dandy experimental movie out of that someday.

In each instance I have pasted the “About” text underneath the video. In one case there is a duplicate, the two Hyde Park videos appear to be identical, but we strive to be complete.
 
“Rolling Stones Gather Moss” (5:51, 1964)

Full title reads: “Rolling Stones Gather Moss.” Technicolor Material. Hull, Humberside.
 
More where these came from, after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
Six-year-old boy with a tail is worshipped as a god
04.18.2014
07:51 am

Topics:
Belief

Tags:
Gods

yobliat1111.jpg
 
Amar Singh may appear like an ordinary six-year-old boy, but to the villagers of Nijmapur in India, Amar is an embodiment of the Hindu god Lord Hanuman.

Amar is worshipped as a god because he is believed to have a foot-long tail growing out of his back. The tail is in fact a patch of hair, but as Amar’s father, Ajmer Singh has explained that although the hairs could easily be shaved off, the family do not want to do this because they consider the tail as a “gift from god.”

“Amar is a very loving child… Everybody sees him as a symbol of god.”

Another explanation for Amar’s tail is the birth defect spina bifida, which means the spine does not fuse properly, leaving a gap which can result in a growth in the lower back.

The youngest in a family of five children, Amar is also considered god-like as he is said to have the “face of a cow,” and enjoys spending time with the village cattle.
 
yobliat333.jpg
 
yobliat222.jpg
 

 
Via India Today

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Swans’ Michael Gira on their forthcoming triple album ‘To Be Kind’
04.18.2014
07:38 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Swans
Michael Gira


 
Michael Gira’s band Swans have shape-shifted but plenty. They made their reputation with an extraordinarily punishing and shockingly nihilistic take on no-wave music in the 1980s, culminating in the colossal masterpiece Children of God. They then curve-balled their fans with relatively introspective and quietly mournful LPs at the decade’s turn. The ‘90s saw further experimentation, ending with the final album of their first incarnation, Soundtracks for the Blind in 1996. But whatever Swans’ approach, be it the bludgeoning riffs of their early years, the tape loop experiments of the mid ‘80s, or the early ‘90s acoustic efforts, the band’s oeuvre has been united, partly by musical and lyrical darkness, certainly, but also by the ability of all the band’s many lineups to conjure the elemental.

Swans went silent in 1997, after which Gira continued to work both solo and in The Angels of Light. Then, in 2010, Swans reappeared, with Gira and stalwart guitarist Norman Westberg leading an otherwise entirely new lineup. Quoth Gira, from a recent phone conversation:

I just wanted to continue making music. I was doing the Angels of Light project for 13 years and I was growing a little bored with it. I wanted to do something a little more all-consuming, intense. So I started to think seriously about reconstituting Swans, I thought that was the best path. There are certain ways of making sound, and avenues that were maybe started that weren’t fully explored that I wanted to continue, and that pushed into new things. Once we started working on Swans it became its own new entity, and opened up in ways that I never would have anticipated.

 

 
This reinvigorated Swans released My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky, an album that met with instant acclaim. As if to prove that this was no fluke, they followed it with the triple-LP The Seer, an album so successfully ambitious it easily equalled Children of God at the absolute top of the band’s discography. In mid-May, the band will release a second triple-LP, To Be Kind, with a heavy-friends lineup that boasts vocalists Al Spyx, St. Vincent, and Little Annie, and Ministry/R.E.M. drummer Bill Rieflin. I wonder, who else has done two consecutive triple-LPs? Anyone? And furthermore, who has done two consecutive stunningly awesome ones?
 

 
Having only gotten all the way through it twice, I’m still just going to commit to this: To Be Kind is very nearly as astonishing as its predecessor, and with exceptions noted below, it’s just perhaps a bit less musically diverse—many songs here share a noticeably similar emotive arc (21st Century Swans seem to have taken a liking to post-rock crescendoes), though fortunately it’s a compelling and effective one. And most of these songs are loooooong, but this, too, is a good thing; every musical element is treated as though it has great value, and is given plenty of room to grow and breathe and live before new ideas and dynamic shifts creep in. Both albums have half-hour set pieces, and my chat with Gira revealed that the new one is actually an outgrowth of the previous.

”Bring the Sun/Toussaint L’Ouverture“ grew out of playing “The Seer” live. As that song was winding down, we started improvising, and what you hear on this album is what came out of that over a year of playing. These pieces kind of developed along the way, and I gradually developed words for them. I was reading a friend’s book about one of the instigators of the slave revolt in Haiti, Toussaint L’Ouverture, and so I started throwing in signifiers for that gentleman, and it became that song.

Though it parallels The Seer in other ways, and it’s easy to conclude that two oceanic-sounding triple albums could work as a matched set, Gira holds that the albums aren’t meant to be taken as a pair:

I don’t conceptualize how things fit together with what came before, or the next thing. The one thing I do try to accomplish is not to repeat ourselves exactly, just to take certain threads from what we’ve done and move forward with those and leave other things behind. I tried to avoid the kind of long soundscape kind of passages that were on The Seer, I felt that would be redundant to do again, and wanted to push more of the groove aspect that was nascent in the touring band.

The groove-oriented songs are a welcome surprise. Passages in “She Loves Us” and “Oxygen” have moments that could pass for straightforward rock, moreso than any other Swans songs I could name off the top of my head, and “A Little God in My Hands” sounds like a new direction altogether. Even when toying with decidedly not-so-Swans ideas, though, Swans, as always, sound unequivocally like Swans. Here are “A Little God…,” which has been online for a few weeks now, and “Oxygen,” which debuted earlier this week on The Quietus. (Incidentally, if you’re not already reading that site, good lord, get on that already, it’s fantastic.)
 

Swans, “A Little God In My Hands”
 

Swans, “Oxygen”
 
Lastly, here are early live versions of “Just A Little Boy” and the title track, recorded in Barcelona last summer.
 

 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
‘Heaven Is For Real’ kid’s interview on Fox News is COMEDY GOLD


 

Sean Hannity: Do you think everybody goes to Heaven?

Colton Burpo: Um…. No. Not everybody does go to Heaven.

Sean Hannity: How do you know?

Colton Burpo, the little boy who had an NDE on an operating table a few years back and claimed to have been to Heaven, has had his experiences “there” recounted in several Heaven is for Real books that have sold like hotcakes to people desperate to believe they will live forever in the Kingdom of Heaven, eternally youthful, kickin’ it with their homeboy Jesus C. and all the dead people they ever knew.

Watch this clip of Colton promoting his parents’ books (his dad is a minister and radio broadcaster, natch) and a major Hollywood film about to come out based on this fiction. From where I’m sitting it seems rather obvious that this kid is lying through his teeth and Sean Hannity is just too stupid not to uncritically believe every word of it.

This is truly remarkable, Marjoe Gortner-level hoodoo nonsense. Even by the admittedly sad standards of Fox News, this is riveting in its abject stupidity…

Colton Burpo: Heaven is… such an amazing place and… and you just want to be there for a long time. I mean, I didn’t wanna come back.

Sean Hannity: What’s the difference… in other words, what did you see? What did you feel? Who did you meet?

Colton Burpo: Well, I saw a lot of stuff… In Heaven there are a lot of colors, but there’s even more than we have down here on Earth. Also I got to meet my great grandpa and my sister who was miscarriaged and… it just feels like home.

Hannity: And she came up to you? Are you there physically or spiritually?

Colton Burpo: You are there physically. You do have your own body.

Hannity: You were there in your body?

Colton Burpo: Well, not my earthly body, they were working on my earthly body.

Hannity: It’s the same? You look the same, relatively speaking?

Colton Burpo: Relatively speaking. If you die an old man or an old woman, you’ll be in your prime, like your late 20s, early 30s.

Hannity: And you say that you met Jesus Christ and God. (Colton nods) Can you describe God and Jesus Christ?

Colton Burpo: Well, Jesus was more like the humanoid version. He’s the one you can relate to because he… loves you so much and he’s actually your size, so you can like walk with him and talk with him.

Hannity: And you talked with him?

Colton Burpo: Yes.

Hannity: And he talked to you?

Colton Burpo: Yes.

Hannity: What did he say?

Colton Burpo: Well, I can’t remember what all it was that we talked about because some of it he even taught me! God has not allowed me to remember what Jesus has taught me.

Hannity: You saw God?

It just gets worse—and even more painfully funny—from there…

You can easily see why Hannity’s audience would eat this shit up, because it sounds exactly like something they already believe. Of course every mean old Archie Bunker watching Fox News will be young again in Heaven. Forever and ever! Throw away that Viagra! No need for it in Heaven, you’ll be 30 again soon, dude…

This is why there needs to a separation between church and state: America is a country full to the bursting point with idiots.
 

 
Via Christian Nightmares

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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