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‘Suicide Is Painless’ (AKA the theme from ‘M*A*S*H’)—the disco version


 
Not much to say about this one. If you’ve ever wanted a reason to picture Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III doing the Hustle, here’s your chance.

In Tom Moulton’s “Disco Mix” column in Billboard of March 5, 1977, he wrote, “The strongest [of three recent singles from FARR Records] is ‘Song From M*A*S*H’ by the New Marketts. Here is a beautiful and well-orchestrated melody featuring guitar and synthesizer playing the melody line and pleasing synthesizer solo in the vamp. The record was produced by Joe Saraceno.”

It’s well known bit of movie-making lore that the lyrics of the song were written by Mike Altman, the son of Robert Altman, director of the original movie. Appearing on Carson in the 1980s, Altman stated that his son had earned more than a million dollars for his part in writing the song, while Altman himself made just $70,000 for directing the movie.
 

 

 
via Ken Levine’s blog

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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‘The Gourmet Cokebook: A Complete Guide to Cocaine,’ 1972
01.27.2015
11:53 am

Topics:
Books
Drugs

Tags:
cocaine


 
I stumbled upon a reference to this marvelous book The Gourmet Cokebook: A Complete Guide to Cocaine, and I instantly knew I had to have it. I’ve never done cocaine, so how else am I supposed to learn about it, aside from watching Goodfellas or listening to Sticky Fingers?

The Gourmet Cokebook was published in 1972. There is conspicuously no author information provided, but the name “Daniel Chasin” appears on the copyright page, which was either a piece of misdirection or undermined the purpose of avoiding the attention of the authorities. I don’t know who Daniel Chasin is, but a Daniel Chasin is credited as acting on the movie Hussy from 1980, and a Daniel Chasin is also credited with writing and directing the 2003 It’s Tough Being Me, apparently a mockumentary about the inventor of the “Fart Machine,” which I suddenly absolutely HAVE to see. I know it’s a longshot, but I really hope those are all the same person.

The publishing company of The Gourmet Cokebook is listed as “White Mountain Press,” which I find hilarious and perfect. The book cost $2.95 at the time, which I know because the price is printed in rather large letters on the back. It has that Loompanics feel of a semi-clandestine operation designed to teach you how to pick locks or make a fake passport.

In truth, the idea of a “Gourmet Cokebook” is hilarious but in principle, the idea isn’t so bad. As the author (Chasin?) points out, there really wasn’t any proper resource around if you wanted to find out more about the drug—the authorities certainly weren’t going to help. There wasn’t any Internet, of course. The book is mostly sensible and helpful, supplying information about the history of the drug and some nuts and bolts information. But in 1972 cocaine was a new drug for mainstream America, and it would take a decade or so for the down sides of its excesses to become plain to all. The book has an idealistic edge to it that doesn’t sit well with the aura that surrounds cocaine today. There’s an appendix at the end addressing the relationship between cocaine and sex, and to the author’s credit the single paragraph is quite up-front about the fact that after excessive use, “the strong sexually stimulative nature of the drug changes to one of frustration, where erections and orgasms become almost impossible.”

Here are a few pages from the book. The bit that opens chapter 2 is an amazing piece of coke-writing that I love. Click on the image for a larger version.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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You HAVE to see this live footage of John Lee Hooker from 1970. Really. Just drop what you’re doing.
01.27.2015
10:28 am

Topics:
History
Music
Television

Tags:
Detroit TV
John Lee Hooker


 
Early ‘70s Detroiters were fortunate to have a still-thriving auto industry, the Motown scene, tons of badass underground rock bands, and on top of all that, they had WABX’s music TV show Detroit Tubeworks. That awesome footage you’ve seen a million times of Captain Beefheart doing “Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop” is from that show, as is approximately a shit-ton of other brilliant material from the post-hippie/pre-punk era. Perfect Sound Forever has a great post about the show’s history.

Tubeworks was one monster of a music TV show. These shows were (and are) mean enough to make the entire staff and stockholders of both MTV and VH-1 start crying and hide in the bathroom. And to boot, Tubeworks was on an early version of analog cable TV. Detroit Tubeworks was a superb example of what was really good in 1969-1974 in rock and roll. It all makes you wonder what would happen if rock and roll on TV in the ‘70’s and the ‘80’s had followed Tubeworks’ lead. Detroit Tubeworks definitely relieved the doldrums of “just the five or six channels we had otherwise then. It was really the only place where we could SEE for ourselves the jams getting kicked out by a righteous bunch of motherfuckers.

Over the weekend, the Detroit alt-weekly Metro Times dug up some incredible footage from Tubeworks of none other than the man who brought electric guitar to Delta blues and brought Delta blues to Detroit, John Lee Hooker. I can’t find the exact date of the filming or broadcast, but it’s sometime in 1970, and there’s a generous 21 and a half minutes of footage. The video is degraded, but the sound is terrific. Per the Metro Times post:

This video features two of Hooker’s own kids plus legendary percussionist Muruga Booker. It was shot in the studio in 1970 for the local Tube Works show. Make sure you turn your device up loud before you hit play on this thing. Hooker was tuned in to a cosmic frequency of electric boogie drone, after all.

 

 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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John Waters calls ‘Fuego’ ‘a hetero film for gay people to marvel at’
01.27.2015
10:13 am

Topics:
Movies
Sex

Tags:
John Waters
camp
Fuego


 
From the Dangerous Minds archives: For those of you snowed in today, here’s a sizzling hot cult film to keep you warm. Highly recommended!

I first heard about Armando Bo’s lusty 1969 Argentinian sexploitation film Fuego (“Fire”) due to John Waters championing of the film, but I didn’t actually get to see it until last night. I’m always interested in seeing something that John Waters is enthusiastic about and I reckon that quite a few of you feel the same way. If so, then you need to watch Fuego toot sweet.

It does not disappoint.

Fuego stars the outrageously hot, extremely well-endowed Isabel Sarli, who has the sort of “brick shithouse” build that Russ Meyer was so very fond of. Fuego and Meyer’s Vixen would make a great “ants in her pants” double bill, but a more appropriate match-up would be Female Trouble and Fuego, which now that I’ve seen it, was obviously a big influence not only on John Waters, but also on Divine. Much of Dawn Davenport—the character’s fashion sense, walk and bouffant hairdo—would appear to be closely modeled on Isabel Sarli. Sarli was also an outrageously hammy actress and Divine just took her already over-the-top “undulating” acting style and turned the volume up to 11.

Sarli plays the insatiable, irresistible Laura and in this role, lemme tell ya, she is perfectly cast. Laura is a complete uninhibited and naturally this gives Sarli plenty of excuses to doff her duds, which she does constantly and we see her engaged in trysts with both men (any man seems to do, her catchphrase—normally screamed—is “I need men!!!”) and with her older, lizard-like lesbian maid. A wealthy businessman named Carlos (director Armando Bo, who also wrote the script and the insanely incessant music) sees some girl-on-much-older-girl action on the beach and later attends a party at Laura’s boyfriend’s house. Soon Carlos is seeing Laura, but he has no idea what he’s gotten himself into. She roams the streets flashing her tits and he is constantly catching her in bed with other dudes. It happens a lot.
 

 
The first part of Fuego is where most of the skin is shown, whereas the later half is talkier, more melodramatic and way more nuts. Laura realizes that her uncontrollable urges are causing her husband grief when he nearly kills an electrician he catches her bonking. They go to a “sex expert” to discuss what can be done about her “condition” (a Pocket Rocket might help...) During a gynecological exam, Laura has a thundering orgasm. The pair travel all the way to New York where Carlos is told by a doctor there that the only thing that can save Laura is his unwavering love.

I won’t tell you how it ends, but when you know in advance that Armando Bo and Isabel Sarli made 27 films together—with her rolling around with little to nothing on in every single one of them—and that they were famously lovers for years (although he never left his wife for her), you can start to project all sorts of psychological things onto Fuego. First off, Bo wrote the script and so he therefore wrote the cuckold role for himself. There’s also the voyeuristic aspect of Bo arranging to see his woman getting her tits out for so many other guys.

There’s a certain “subtext” to Fuego, let’s just say.

Waters calls Fuego: “A hetero film for gay people to marvel at” and truly, it’s a movie that covers all the bases. I’d recommend watching it in a group, like Birdemic or something like that. It’s enjoyable no matter what, but like most “so bad that it’s good” movies, experiencing it for the first time with other people is the way to go. I also recommend the dubbed version (below), the actors obviously had fun with it.

Armando Bo died in 1981 and Sarli stopped making films. She is now a cult figure with a devoted following. Sarli was feted at Lincoln Center in 2010.
 

 

 
The NSFW trailer for Fuego:
 

 
In the clip below from his John Waters Presents Movies That Will Corrupt You show, the Fellini of Baltimore waxes poetic about one of his favorite films, admits that he “stole” a lot of stuff from Fuego and you can see some of the opening titles:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Teenage Wasteland: Photos of rebellious youth in Japan, 1964
01.27.2015
09:15 am

Topics:
History
Pop Culture

Tags:
Japan


 
I thought I’d share these absolutely stunning photos of the decidedly wilder side of Japanese youth culture circa 1964. The images, taken by LIFE photographer Michael Rougier, document “one Japanese generation’s age of revolt.”

From the 1964 issue of LIFE:

All through that past, a sense of connection with the old traditions and authority has kept Japanese children obedient and very close to the family. This sense still controls most of Japan’s youth who besiege offices and factories for jobs and the universities for education and gives the whole country an electric vitality and urgency. But as its members run away from the family and authority, this generation in rebellion grows.

The photos have a very raw, punky energy, if you will, for 1964. If you’re curious about who the band that everyone is rocking out to, they were called the Tokyo Beatles. I’ve added a YouTube clip of their cover of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” at the bottom so you can get an idea to what the kids are freaking out about in some of these evocative photos.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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‘Friday Night Tykes’: Shocking youth sports docu-series exposes gladiator-style kiddie football
01.27.2015
08:46 am

Topics:
Sports
Television
U.S.A.!!!

Tags:
Friday Night Tykes


 
As passionate fans of the Friday Night Lights TV series will tell you, you don’t need to care that much about football itself to care deeply about the carefully drawn characters of that much-loved small town drama. Something similar can almost be said of the Esquire Network’s returning youth sports docu-series Friday Night Tykes, but there’s a frankly shocking level of car crash brutality—that’s all being egged on by the “adults” in charge—that completely subverts what you think this show is going to be all about.

Friday Night Tykes focuses on the teams of the Texas Youth Football Association, the most popular, competitive and well-supported league of its kind in the United States. TYFA also has a reputation for controversy, and for the violent intensity of its pre-teen players, some who are as young as eight or nine. There is no size limit for these kids, either. The bigger the better. And did I mention the crazy parents? TYFA’s got its share of lunatics in the bleachers.

As season two starts, we get a recap of some of the most eyebrow-raising moments from last year. Answering the big question in many viewers’ minds (“WHAT IN THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING?!?!?!”) some of the coaches from the first series are gone, one for flagrantly encouraging viciously unsportsmanlike behavior (all of which this psycho was, for some reason, completely unashamed to allow the Esquire Network’s cameras to capture). There is a “welcome to the Terrordome” element to the TYFA—these little kids are encouraged to act like MMA gladiators. Tackle ‘em sure, but make sure to hurt ‘em real bad when ya do it. In TYFA, the all-American sport is sport is often enacted with the sort of violence associated with backyard wrestling. They just need to outfit their eight-year-old fullbacks with 2x4s and nunchucks and stop beating around the bush.
 

 
To be honest, I was left mouth-agape by this show within the opening moments. The thing that will probably occur to you as you watch it, as it did to me, is that these people are willing to subject their own children to something that is not really a great distance from cagefighting, but cagefighting done with little kids who are crying and puking! It’s so twisted! Some of the parents are so harsh, aggressive and downright nasty towards their children in public that you don’t have to use your imagination much to wonder how they might behave in the privacy of their own homes.

A narrator asks “But how hard is too hard? [Pediatricians warn against any sort of full body tackle until a child is at least 14 years of age] How far is too far? [Just wait!] Is youth sports truly about the kids, or is it truly about the parents?”

That last question is left shrewdly unanswered by the filmmakers.

Watch the entire first episode of the Esquire Network’s second season of Friday Night Tykes here.

Below, the trailer:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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The amazing, massive, oceanic psych of the amazing Amazing. A DM premiere
01.27.2015
07:46 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Dungen
The Amazing


 
I love it when a record takes me unawares and blows me away. It depends so much on context, sometimes a great album will just not impress you at all because you’re hearing it in the wrong situation, but when the stars align for a record and its listener, daaaaaamn.

So here’s one—I took a pretty long car trip in December, alone, and in advance of my leaving, I burned about a dozen CDRs of downloaded music I’d been meaning to listen to but hadn’t gotten around to. One of those discs was the advance promo of Picture You, a forthcoming LP by a Swedish band endowed with the delightful name the Amazing, about whom I knew nothing except that they sported the guitarist from the psych-prog band Dungen, whom I like quite a lot.
 

 

 
I threw that disc in when I was a few hours into the trip, driving through the hills of southwestern PA, a stunningly beautiful place in autumn when the leaves are changing, and a stunningly desolate place in winter when the leaves have fallen off. The Amazing were absolutely perfect there, and I fell straightaway in love with the album. This may not be the most precisely apt description, but it’s the one that hit me immediately, and I’m really stuck on it. There’s a lot of the dreamy, soaring psych of Dungen to them (no surprise), but airy, free, untethered, and in parts, it has a lot of the ren-faire folkiness of Midlake or Fleet Foxes to it, tendencies that come through strongest in “Circles” and “The Headless Boy.” The Amazing’s music has a massive, oceanic spaciousness to it, and amid Pennsylvania mountains full of unsullied snow and dormant trees, its lengthy, mind-bending, powerfully moving explorations just flat out dazzled me, and I’ve given Picture You plenty of spinnage since that roadtrip. The rest of the world will be able to procure a copy and see exactly what I’m splooshing about in mid-February, but some of it can be heard now. Three weeks ago, the band published “The Headless Boy” to Soundcloud.
 

 
The official video for the album’s title track, “Picture You,” was released a week and a half ago.
 

 
And lastly, today it is DM’s privilege to premiere the song “Safe Island,” an expansive and wistful piece that turns on a dime from gorgeous dream pop into a brain-melting noise trip.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Andy Warhol shoots and paints Farrah Fawcett

000anfarpic11.jpg
 
If it’s true that all’s fair in love and war, then it’s the share of the spoils after death and divorce that cause the most problems.

When Charlie’s Angels actress Farrah Fawcett died in June 2009, her will donated all of her art collection to the University of Texas—her old alma mater where she had studied before becoming an actress. Amongst Farrah’s treasured possessions was a portrait painted by Andy Warhol in 1980. This was in fact one of two paintings Warhol had made of the actress—the second was very soon to become the focus of a trial between the University of Texas and Fawcett’s ex-lover, the actor Ryan O’Neal.

O’Neal’s claim to the second painting rested on his testimony that he had first introduced Farrah to Warhol and had asked him to paint Fawcett’s portrait. He also claimed he had asked Warhol to make a second portrait so he and Farrah could have one each.
 
001andyfawcett234.jpg
Andy Warhol shoots Farrah Fawcett.
 
In 1997, Fawcett split-up with O’Neal after she caught him in bed with another woman. O’Neal kept his portrait of Farrah above his bed, but as his girlfriends found the picture a tad off-putting, he asked Fawcett to hold on to it for him.

This Fawcett did until her death, when O’Neal removed the 40-inch by 40-inch silkscreen from her house. This action led to a trial between O’Neal and the University in December 2013 as to who was the rightful owner of the Warhol painting.
 
aa11warpicholfarr.jpg
 
During the trial lawyers acting on behalf of the University of Texas attempted to discredit O’Neal’s story by using an edition ABC’s 20/20 where Fawcett is apparently seen asking Warhol to paint her portrait and is later filmed by the ABC news crew as Warhol snaps thirty Polaroid pictures of the actress in preparation for making the portrait.

O’Neal did not dispute that one of the Warhol’s belonged to his former long-term partner, it was the second painting that he claimed was his. Without any evidence to dispute this claim, the University were unlikely to win the case. O’Neal upped the ante by telling the jury he spoke to Farrah’s portrait every day:

“I talk to it. I talk to her. It’s her presence in my life and her son’s life. We lost her. It would seem a crime to lose it.”

O’Neal was on an operating table having a skin cancer removed when he heard the jury’s verdict that he was the rightful owner of the painting by nine jurors to three. Though the painting has an estimated worth of $12 million, O’Neal said he would never sell the picture as it meant too much to him, and it will be handed-down to their son Redmond after he dies.

This is that episode of 20/20 which featured so prominently in the trial. Originally made as a profile of Andy Warhol this short documentary does give some insight into the pop artist’s working techniques and has some typically Warholian moments.
 

 
Part II after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Apparently David Cronenberg is a huge ‘Dilbert’ fan
01.26.2015
03:29 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Movies

Tags:
David Cronenberg
Dilbert


 
I just wanted to collect a few related data points here on the theme of David Cronenberg and Dilbert, the comic strip.

Cronenberg has probably directed more impressive and awesome movies than any living English speaker. Let’s list a few of the standouts, of which there are many: Rabid, Scanners, The Dead Zone, Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, Crash, eXistenZ, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, Cosmopolis, and Maps to the Stars.

From there we pivot to Cronenberg’s interest in Dilbert—indeed, intense appreciation of Dilbert. The evidence is incontrovertible.

First we have this item from the November 24, 2014 issue of New York Magazine. The heading reads “The Best Gift I Ever Got Was a….” Cronenberg’s answer went like this: “Every year, my kids get me a ‘Dilbert’ calendar. It’s extremely funny and sophisticated and accurate—very philosophical for a daily cartoon. I really need that calendar every year. It keeps me going.”
 

 
In this recent interview with Scene Creek, Cronenberg mentioned Dilbert in a positive way. Deflecting criticisms that Maps of the Stars is an “attack” on Hollywood, Cronenberg insists that he did not think of it that way, then says, “That’s not unique to Hollywood. Any human endeavor has those aspects. Look at various forms of pop culture that can skewer any business, be it Wall Street, or Silicon Valley, or Dilbert, the cartoon.” Hmmmm.

Then, just about a year ago, Cronenberg accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Canadian Screen Awards, and in his speech, he related the entire content of a Dilbert strip that first ran on February 15, 2001. Here is that strip:
 

 
You can watch a clip below of Cronenberg accepting the award—unfortunately, it’s a phonecam video of the user’s TV set, but you can still make it out. After introductions from Jay Baruchel and Viggo Mortensen and a three-minute montage of Cronenberg’s movies that WILL make you want to watch one of his movies, Cronenberg took the stage and eventually mused on the possibility of an Afterlife Achievement Award, and then said this:
 

So as I would always do in a situation like that I turned to the comic strip Dilbert for guidance. Dilbert has an evil, vicious dog named Dogbert. Dogbert says to him, “The key to happiness is self-delusion, so don’t think of yourself as an organic pain collector racing to oblivion.” And Dilbert says, “Well, actually, I hadn’t had that thought until just now.” And Dogbert says, “Don’t blame me. I said ‘Don’t.’” And suddenly I thought, yeah, if it’s human delusion that allows you to think that there’s an afterlife, well I’m human and I’m certainly deluded.

 
So David Cronenberg loves Dilbert. I honestly don’t know whether this changes my perception of Dilbert or my perception of Cronenberg…..
 

 
via Waxin’ & Milkin’

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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If Steve Buscemi and David Bowie had a lovechild, in one animated GIF
01.26.2015
03:10 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
David Bowie
Steve Buscemi


 
Remember that animated GIF by UK-based illustrator Helen Green showing all the style incarnations of David Bowie throughout his career? It made the rounds on the Internet a few weeks ago. Dangerous Minds blogged about it here.

Well, someone—someone with clearly too much time on their hands—swapped out Bowie’s face for Steve Buscemi’s and… voilà! You now have this ridiculous animated GIF of Steve Buscemi that shall reside on the Internet. Forever.

I’m not saying this is great or anything. I’m merely saying… here it is.


 
Via Everlasting Blort

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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