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Waste your time with this Joy Division/Teletubbies mashup. SERIOUSLY.
06:57 am


Joy Division

The Internet works so quickly it could give you whiplash. Yesterday, Vanyaland posted this desaturated image of the Teletubbies, noting that the actually nightmarish image could have been a still from the famous video Anton Corbijn made for the Joy Division song “Atmosphere.”

In no time flat, a YouTube user named Christopher G. Brown uploaded a black and white video of the Teletubbies frolicking to that song. Somehow, the rotund and eternally chipper children’s TV mainstays’ merry (if admittedly kind of creepily surreal) countryside cavorting is a perfect fit with the forlorn, elegiac majesty of the JD song. I can’t even add anything here, just watch it.

A million thanks to Nerdhole‘s Mary P. Traverse for this day-making find.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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When The Hound from ‘Game of Thrones’ sold breakfast cereal

Long before Rory McCann became internationally known as scarred, brooding hardman “The Hound” Sandor Clegane in Game of Thrones, he was the pin-up poster boy for Scotland’s traditional breakfast cereal Scott’s Porage Oats.

“Porage Oats” is a brand of porridge that takes its name from the Scottish word “poray” and the French word “potage”—hence porage. While porridge has long been a Scottish dietary staple, often providing breakfast, lunch and dinner, Scott’s Porage Oats has been household favorite since the late 1800s. A welcome winter-warmer, Scott’s Porage Oats is instantly recognizable with its distinctive packaging of a Highland laddie in kilt and vest putting a shot.
This iconic image was first added to the packaging in 1924, and it has been suggested that the figure was modeled on a soldier from the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, whose barracks were not far from Scott’s oat mills in Edinburgh. According to their website:

This figure of strength, health and vitality has changed only a little over the years as fashion conscious and enthusiastic Marketing Managers have lengthened and shortened his hair, and occasionally, very controversially, his kilt.

With his Sean Conneryesque good looks and powerful build, McCann was the ideal actor to bring this trademark figure to life. In 1999 he was cast as the ever-helpful Highland laddie in a series of adverts.

What Scotsmen wear under their kilts and more top shelf entertainment, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Awesome Ramones T-shirts, drawn by the author of ‘My Friend Dahmer’
06:13 am


Jeffrey Dahmer

If you read alt-weeklies in the ‘90s and ‘oughts, John “Derf” Backderf’s comic The City may well have been on your radar. Over its 24-year lifespan, it ran in 140 papers in all, peaking at 75 at once in the late ‘90s, including the late, lamented Cleveland Free Times, at which he and I were co-workers. Of course that publishing sector is gasping for air now, and Derf has moved on from it to an edifying afterlife: he’s retired the weekly strip, and like many cartoonists, he’s moved into web-comics, and he’s had great success creating graphic novels.

In 2008, Derf released the acclaimed Punk Rock and Trailer Parks, an account of being a young punk in Akron during the halcyon days of weirdomusic in Northeast Ohio. But his magnum opus so far is 2012’s My Friend Dahmer. You see, future cartoonist Derf was high school pals with future cannibalistic serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, and his portrait of his onetime friend’s teen years is affecting, disturbing, compelling, deeply human, and just bottomlessly sad. Derf depicts behaviors in the teenaged Dahmer that we’d all recognize today as HUGE RED FLAGS that he was going to turn out seriously broken, but in the early ‘70s could be and were hand-waved as mere weirdness. It was nominated for basically all of the awards, and was named one of Time‘s top five non-fiction books of the year.


Both Punk Rock and Trailer Parks and My Friend Dahmer have been translated into French, which has given Derf a chance to travel to France for promo appearances and exhibits. For one of those exhibits, he drew some wonderful tributes to Joey and Johnny Ramone, and they’ve been made into t-shirts which are available through Birdcage Bottom Books. Also available to the discerning Derf aficionado is this shirt, which may or may not bear a (totally unintentional) resemblance to Lester Bangs (or not), available from publisher SLG Comics.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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‘Time to Suck’: Wild 70s South African proto-metal band Suck covers Black Sabbath, King Crimson
02:00 pm


proto metal

Suck Band
I have a cold. So instead of coughing up a lung in my wife’s face while she tried to sleep last night, I generously chose to snooze on the couch. It’s not the most comfortable surface in the house on which to catch some Z’s but, making the best of this temporary sleeping arrangement, I was happily able to lull myself into a wheezy, congested slumber by listening to anything I wanted without the fear of driving my significant other insane. Earlier in the day, a friend of mine had posted some photos of a few psych records he had just purchased, one being The American Metaphysical Circus by Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies, a record I had heard once several years ago but that I didn’t know much about. I set a box of tissues and my laptop on the coffee table next to the couch, found The American Metaphysical Circus on YouTube, pressed play, turned down the brightness on my screen and fell sound asleep in maybe 20 minutes without even finishing the record.

The next thing you know, the sun’s out, shining through the curtains behind my head (which feels like a swollen brick) and, through the magic of continual play on YouTube, music is still spilling out from the my tiny laptop speakers. Who knows how many videos played while I slept, but at this point I’m hearing the unmistakably staccato opening riff of somebody’s version of “War Pigs,” but it’s clearly not Sabbath, it’s different somehow (unless it’s some live version or something). Groggy but curious, I bring up the brightness on the screen to be greeted by this:
Suck Band Youtube
Suck. The very first thing I saw this morning.
Suck. A band called Suck I’ve never heard of who put out a record apparently called Time to Suck on which the band is jamming a pretty solid version of “War Pigs”? My interest piqued and hoping that the title of this record (being the very first thing I saw upon opening my eyes this morning) wasn’t some sort of bad omen about how the rest of my day was going to go down, I start looking into the proto-metal powerhouse which was Suck. I was not disappointed, and hey, I even learned something.

Turns out that Suck was a short lived endeavor from South Africa where the early seventies generated a handful of notable proto-metal acts collectively referred to as “The Big Heavies,” a name derived from a 1972 compilation album of the same name featuring fully leaded fellow South African bands, Freedom’s Children and Otis Waygood among several others. Suck’s Time To Suck  was released in 1971 and features a shitload of covers of Grand Funk Railroad, King Crimson, Free, Deep Purple, Colesseum, the aforementioned Black Sabbath (well actually “War Pigs” was not on the original record release, but was added as bonus track when the recording saw the light of day years later on CD) and even a lyrically botched version of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch.”

More Suckage after the jump…

Posted by Jason Schafer | Discussion
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Frank Zappa & the Monkees: ‘No, YOU’RE the popular musician, I’M dirty gross and ugly’

The Monkees are often referred to as the “Pre-Fab Four” in reference to the fact that they were a TV knock-off of the Beatles, recruited from a help wanted ad in Variety. Still, no matter how “uncool” they were supposed to be, the Monkees casting was a rare example of stroke of genius by committee. It’s difficult to imagine anyone but the four of them having the same chemistry, both comedically and (eventually) musically. And to further refute their “uncool” rep, John Lennon called them “the Marx Brothers of Rock” (he was right about that) and the Beatles even hosted a party for the Monkees in London when they toured England. (Furthermore, Mike Nesmith was present at the Abbey Road recording sessions for “A Day in the Life” and Peter Tork played banjo on George Harrison’s eclectic Wonderwall soundtrack).

Even that most far-out of the really far-out musicians of the day, Frank Zappa himself, made not just one, but two onscreen appearances with the Monkees: First in a TV segment where Mike pretended to be Frank and vice versa (which certainly foreshadowed Ringo Starr’s portrayal of Zappa in 200 Motels) before they destroyed a car with a sledgehammer to the tune of “Mother People,” and again in a brief cameo in Head.

Zappa’s Head cameo, after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Lose all your money to an Ellen DeGeneres-themed slot machine

Ellen DeGeneres is so very likeable that nobody is going to mind at all that she stands to make a huge wad of moolah from the what can in many cases be presumed to be the problem gambling habits of thousands of lower-income Americans.

When your face is on a device that will be used to vacuum all the spare change out of patrons’ pockets, you can’t exactly hide the fact. Ellen announced the new machines last year on her site. Her website also has a “finder” so you can make your way to the slot machines more easily. There are currently four in the San Francisco area, five in the Los Angeles area, two in the Chicago area, and so on.

“From the first spin of the reels, the famously familiar Ellen theme song emanates from each game and players are transported to the set of their favorite TV hour,” says International Game Technology, which its website identifies as “the industry’s leading manufacturer of gaming machines.” Phil O’Shaughnessy, director of Global Corporate Communications for IGT, said the following:

If you think about the show, there are so many icons from the show, be it the red chair, the sunglasses, even the boxer shorts. They really lend themselves nicely to a video slot environment. The other thing is, Ellen’s all about laugh dance play, and we really embrace that concept, realizing that some of the elements, such as “Know or Go” or “Wheel of Riches,” would actually make excellent bonus rounds in a slot environment as well.


There are actually three Ellen-themed games, “Ellen’s Dance Party,” “Ellen’s Know or Go” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show 12 Days of Giveaways.”

“Casino gambling expert” Al Moe hilariously opines that “the huge Ellen photos are a bit creepy, as her eyes seem to follow you around the slot floor.” However, the San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that the new machines are a hit, “drawing crowds”—a representative from some casino indicated that “it’s not unusual to see a crowd standing around the machines, laughing at what transpires while people play,” according to the Chronicle.

via SFist

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Watch The Fall break up into a million shards, live at Brownie’s in NYC, 1998
10:19 am


The Fall

This exchange happened after the Fall’s gig at Brownie’s on the Lower East Side of NYC on April 7, 1998:

Fan 1: “That was the scariest thing I ever saw. Now I know who I want to go as for Halloween.”
Fan 2: “You mean Mark E. Smith? You don’t understand…he’s not usually like this.”
Fan 1: “Oh, that’s too bad. I feel like I finally saw my first real punk band! That was the greatest show I ever saw in my life.”

That reaction merely scratched the surface of what happened that night. An actual fight broke out between longtime Fall drummer Karl Burns and frontman Mark E. Smith midway through the set. Before the sun would rise the next morning, Mark E. Smith would be arrested for assault. Even more momentously, it would emerge that the three members of the then-quintet who left the stage in the middle of the final song had played their last Fall gig ever, including Burns, who had been with the band since 1977, and Steve Hanley, the Fall’s utterly essential bassist who had been slogging it out with Mark E. Smith since 1979. The combination of Hanley and guitarist Craig Scanlon, who had left the band in 1995, was every bit as crucial to the Fall’s elusive brilliance during the early 1980s as MES himself, as can be witnessed on such phenomenal albums as Perverted by Language, This Nation’s Saving Grace, and Hex Enduction Hour. (Few pieces of music bring me as much joy as the lengthy “Garden” off of Perverted by Language.)

It couldn’t have been easy being such a close compadre of volatile genius/crabapple Mark E. Smith for two decades, but in April 1998 frustrations boiled over. Three days earlier, tempers had flared during a show in Philadelphia; Hanley and Smith got into a “fight,” according to WPRB DJs who attended the gig, and half the band quit the stage in disgust, leaving just Smith and keyboardist Julia Nagle on the stage (which would happen again a few days later at Brownie’s). After the show there was an extensive discussion of the fracas on WPRB (this clip is very entertaining). Julia’s rebuttal, written ten years after the fact, can be found here, along with that clip:

the UK tour prior to the US had also been a shambles, as the group had received a large VAT/TAX bill and were not happy chickens (threats of houses being lost etc. were the main topic of conversation or argument). Also, regarding to the incident at the beginning of the US tour, I defended myself with my fists during an argument about sharing a room with Mark and in the morning he had a black eye from that fracas. (there were many fracas’s during this time in The Falls history and they were nothing to be proud of).

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Man has 100 maggots in his nose
09:59 am



A 65-year-old Sao Paulo man visited his doctor complaining of sinus pain, swelling around his nose and worms coming out of his nose. That last should have been a big clue, for when doctors investigated further, by inserting a camera up the man’s nose, they discovered over 100 flesh-eating maggots chowing down on the poor man’s nasal cavity.

The maggots were burrowing, squelching, pulping up the man’s interior and doing that kinda gross maggotty thing maggots do. Doctors had to remove the maggots one by one being guided by the camera and using a saline solution.

The maggots were identified as Cochliomyia hominivorax (or the New World Screwworm) which is prevalent in Central and South America and in certain Caribbean Islands. Female adult flies lay batches of 200-400 eggs, in rows around a fresh wound on warm-blooded animals. The larvae then feast on the flesh. This 65-year-old was lucky, as the maggots could have eaten his face away from the inside.

Via Daily Mail.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Inside the Warsaw Ghetto: Summer 1941

Since 1596 Warsaw has been the capital of Poland. In Polish Warsaw (“Warszawa”) literally means “belonging to Warsz”—a 12th-13th-century nobleman who owned land in the Mariensztat district. Warsaw was home to Europe’s largest Jewish population—around 337,000 in 1939, and 445,000 by 1941.

When Germany invaded Poland in August 1939, the Nazis quickly surrounded the capital city and launched a deadly blitzkreig that claimed many lives and destroyed buildings. The Germans were now in control of the country and in November 1939, an edict issued by Hans Frank, the Governor General, decreed all Jewish men, women and children over the age of ten had to wear a Star of David armband to identify themselves. All Jewish shops had to be similarly marked with a Star of David, and severe restrictions were placed on the Jewish population. Further laws limited the amount of money Jews were able to withdraw, with strict rules on buying produce, letting and owning property and travel.

In March 1940, groups of Polish gangs launched a series of violent attacks on the Jewish population—stealing money, gold, food, clothes and anything they could find of any value. These attacks lasted for eight days until the Germans intervened.

In February 1940, the Germans proposed plans to create a Jewish quarter or ghetto, where all Jews would be contained. On the Day of Atonement, October 1940, a decree was issued establishing a Jewish ghetto. All Jews had to relocate to this ghetto, which meant 30% of the population of Warsaw was packed into only 2.4% of the city’s area—some 400,00 people living in 1.3 square miles, an average of 7.2 people per room.

By mid-November, a wall surrounding the ghetto was built. The wall was over eleven feet high with broken glass and barbed wire on top and was constructed by the German company Schmidt & Munstermann, who were responsible for building the Treblinka concentration. The wall was paid for by the same Jewish community it was built to imprison. Access to and from the ghetto was limited to mainly food and supplies. The Jewish population inside the ghetto were allocated daily rations of 181 calories. The Germans intended to starve the imprisoned population. During 1941 Jewish deaths rose from 898 in January, to 5,560 in August. The average monthly mortality rates for the seventeen months from January 1941 to May 1942 was 3882. But death was not quick enough for the Germans, and in May 1942, 254,000 Jewish ghetto inhabitants were transported to Treblinka for extermination.

Willy Georg was an old German soldier who made money taking photographs of young German soldiers. During the summer of 1941, Georg was given permission to enter the Jewish ghetto and take photographs of the inhabitants. Georg shot four rolls of film, but as he was shooting a fifth roll, a German military policeman stopped him and confiscated his camera, he was then escorted out of the area. However, the policeman had not searched Georg and he was therefore able to sneak out the four rolls of shot film. He developed these films and carefully stored them along with the prints for the next fifty years until the late 1980s when he met Rafael Scharf, a researcher of Polish-Jewish studies, to whom he gave his pictures. These photographs were then published in the book Warsaw Ghetto: Summer 1941 in 1993.
More of Willy Georg’s powerful photographs of the Jewish ghetto, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Wendy O. Williams, The Misfits, Black Flag—collect ‘em all with these vintage punk trading cards!

Totally in love with these cheap little vintage punk rock trading cards. Today we truly live in a post-punk world! Chain gas stations sell Misfits Zippos to oblivious rednecks! Hot Topic has monetized every band under the sun by slapping their logos on everything short of your first-born! Isn’t there something kind of quaint about this modest old school attempt to capitalize off punk fandom? The awkward little captions, the trademarks and copyrights over what I’m almost sure are fair-use press photos—it was a more innocent time of hucksterism!

I assume the cards didn’t move that well, considering these all came from 1981/82 editions of Punk Lives magazine (forget the copyright, most of these bands didn’t even exist in 1978). Perhaps whoever thought them up overestimated the archivist tendencies of early punk rocker, but I like the kitsch of such obsolete tinpot swag. Note early incarnation of The Cult with fresh-faced Ian Astbury; and Mark Chung and FM Einheit, later of Einstürzende Neubauten, back when they were in the Abwarts.



More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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