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  • Three words: Drum. Crotch. Pants.
    08.23.2016
    09:39 am

    Topics:
    Amusing
    Music
    Science/Tech

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    “Single Stroke Roll,” “Flam Paradiddle,” and “Swiss Army Triplets” are among the names of percussion rudiments that could pass for sexual acts, but Japanese multimedia artist and experimental pop music composer Kaoring Machine has answered the question: why can’t they be both? He’s crafted a pair of “Electric Sexy Drum Pants” with a synth drum trigger for a crotch, and a few days ago uploaded a demonstration video, which is amusing as all hell despite sorely lacking any overtly suggestive moves involving mallets or kick pedals. Still, given the possibilities, of course we want these. Perhaps one could combine them with those Converse high-tops with built-in wah pedals and this theremin bra to form the most physically awkward one-person band ever.
     

     
    Many thanks to Sarah Lee for this find!

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    Photographs of homeless people and their childhood dreams
    08.23.2016
    09:23 am

    Topics:
    Art
    Current Events

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    02tammyhomeless2.jpg
     

    Tammy is a star on Height Street in San Francisco. If she can’t bring a smile on your face, then nobody will. Her biggest pain is that her grandmother and her first husband took the kids away from her.

     
    No one chooses to be homeless. No one wants to be without a home to call their own. A string of bad luck, a few wrong turns, a few bad choices, and then wham—you’re flat out on your ass. I ended-up that way after the apartment I lived was destroyed by fire. Escaped with my life and little else. No insurance. No income. No nothing. Quickly found there was only so long I could kip on friends’ floors or sofas before there was nowhere left to go. But I was lucky. I got back to where I’d been.

    Horia Manolache photographs homeless people in and around San Francisco. He does more than just take their pictures. He creates portraits of each of these homeless men or women as they are today and who they once imagined they would become when they were children.

    Horia is an award-winning photographer. His intention in taking these photographs was to make these homeless people’s stories heard. He photographed them in a hotel, garages, building sites and out on the streets. He met “people with guns and people with golden hearts.” He ultimately made a mobile studio, where he could create these unique portraits.

    His wife was his helper—cutting hair and beards, applying make-up. Horia spent time getting to know each of his sitters. He listened to their stories, heard about their dreams. Then he sourced the clothes and materials to create a portrait for each person. Imagining them as they once dreamed they would become—a chef, policewoman, clown, parent. Horia plans to make a book of his photographs called The Prince and the Pauper—more details here. In the meantime, here are Horia’s photographs and the stories behind each picture.
     
    03mikehomeless3.jpg
     

    Mike was the first to be in this project. He comes from Ohio, he had to run from there because he used to smoke weed and the police caught him so he was arrested. He is now rebuilding his life, he has a place to stay and he started to work, thanks to an organisation from San Francisco.

     
    01honeyhomeless.jpg
     

    Honey run away from home because of her violent husband. She had a car in which she slept but it broke and the police took it so she had to sleep in the park. She learned how to play ukulele by herself and she knows how to sing with spoons. She is called Honey because of her sweet voice.

     
    More of Horia’s photographs of the homeless and their childhood dreams, after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    Dolled Up: Bizarre fashion photos of Marianne Faithfull as a toy doll
    08.23.2016
    08:53 am

    Topics:
    Art
    Fashion
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    Politics
    Sex

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    It was the unveiling of Pitchfork’s Top 200 songs of the 1970s yesterday that got me thinking about Marianne Faithfull. Pitchfork happened to position Faithfull’s “Broken English” in the final slot, #200, and when I dialed up Jamieson Cox‘s highly helpful Spotify playlist of the Pitchfork 1970s singles, it turned out that “Broken English” was the first song I listened to.

    And what a song! I couldn’t get it out of my head all day, mentally positioning it alongside Peter Gabriel’s “Games Without Frontiers” and Nena’s “99 Luftballons” as the deathless post-punk Cold War anthems. The song drew me to investigate her 1979 album of the same name as well as her rich career before that.

    At some point I stumbled on a picture of Faithfull in a French fashion magazine called Mademoiselle Age Tendre, and eventually I found these strange pictures of Faithfull literally “dolled up,” posing as a kind of real-life Barbie doll being taken out of its box. The date is hard to read on this magazine cover, but it appears to be January 1967:
     

     
    So, yeah, it’s a cute idea for a shoot and all, certainly an innocent idea, and one might argue that we shouldn’t be too hard on the magazine personnel of that era, impose our perception of gender equality on them, who could not know better and all that. But you know what? Naaah. We don’t have to crucify the people behind that shoot to point out that some ideas date well and others do not, and objectifying women is a pervasive problem in our society that is always best avoided. The pictures may not have played as creepy then, but they play as creepy today.
     

     
    By the way, above you can see a picture of Faithfull from 1979, the year she released Broken English. Note the absence of a box for her to come out of.
     

     

     

     
    More of these odd pics after the jump…...
     

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    There is a jock strap planter for men
    08.22.2016
    03:57 pm

    Topics:
    Amusing
    Economy
    Fashion

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    You want to know why this is “dangerous”? Because it looks fucking painful, that’s why! The jock strap planter is by Pansy Ass Ceramics. It sells for around $100 and comes in green, purple and blue. Perfect.

    Now how on earth you water this sucker and fertilize it, I simply do not know.

    According to the website, the cactus is not included. Boo! Perhaps some nice succulent plants would make it less prick-ly?


     

     
    With thanks to Rusty Blazenhoff!

     

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Simpleton Sabotage: Watch out, that asshole at the office might be a double agent!
    08.22.2016
    02:19 pm

    Topics:
    Amusing
    History

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    001sabsimpbok11.jpg
     
    That annoying doofus in your office who irritates the shit out of you might not be as dumb as he looks. He could be working for the enemy. He could be a saboteur.

    During the Second World War, the Office of Strategic Services (forerunner to the CIA) issued a field manual called Simple Sabotage intended for use by resistance fighters operating behind enemy lines. The 32-page booklet gave practical advice on how to perpetrate sabotage by “purposeful stupidity.” This ranged from working slowly, using the wrong tools, slashing tires, losing important mail, misfiling information, spreading false rumors, damaging technical equipment and arson.

    Sabotage varies from highly technical coup de main acts that require detailed planning and the use of specially-trained operatives, to innumerable simple acts which the ordinary individual citizen-saboteur can perform. This paper is primarily concerned with the latter type. Simple sabotage does not require specially prepared tools or equipment; it is executed by an ordinary citizen who may or may not act individually and without the necessity for active connection with an organized group; and it is carried out in such a way as to involve a minimum danger of injury, detection, and reprisal.

    Where destruction is involved, the weapons of the citizen-saboteur are salt, nails, candles, pebbles, thread, or any other materials he might normally be expected to possess as a householder or as a worker in his particular occupation. His arsenal is the kitchen shelf, the trash pile, his own usual kit of tools and supplies. The targets of his sabotage are usually objects to which he has normal and inconspicuous access in everyday life.

    A second type of simple sabotage requires no destructive tools whatsoever and produces physical damage, if any, by highly indirect means. It is based on universal opportunities to make faulty decisions, to adopt a noncooperative attitude, and to induce others to follow suit. Making a faulty decision may be simply a matter of placing tools in one spot instead of another. A non-cooperative attitude may involve nothing more than creating an unpleasant situation among one’s fellow workers, engaging in bickerings, or displaying surliness and stupidity.

    This type of activity, sometimes referred to as the “human element,” is frequently responsible for accidents, delays, and general obstruction even under normal conditions. The potential saboteur should discover what types of faulty decisions and the operations are normally found in this kind of work and should then devise his sabotage so as to enlarge that “margin for error.”

    The manual offered five top tips to “simple sabotage”:

    Managers and Supervisors: To lower morale and production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly about their work.

    Employees: Work slowly. Think of ways to increase the number of movements needed to do your job: use a light hammer instead of a heavy one; try to make a small wrench do instead of a big one.

    Organizations and Conferences: When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committees as large and bureaucratic as possible. Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.

    Telephone: At office, hotel and local telephone switchboards, delay putting calls through, give out wrong numbers, cut people off “accidentally,” or forget to disconnect them so that the line cannot be used again.

    Transportation: Make train travel as inconvenient as possible for enemy personnel. Issue two tickets for the same seat on a train in order to set up an “interesting” argument.

    This is all fascinating stuff. Among the tactics listed for those working in “organizations and production” are eight points which are appear to be still in use today:

    (1) Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.

    (2) Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate “patriotic” comments.

    (3) When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committees as large as possible — never less than five.

    (4) Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.

    (5) Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.

    (6) Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.

    (7) Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.

    (8) Be worried about the propriety of any decision — raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.

    Sounds uncannily like life in a modern organization…. Last year, a trio updated the OSS manual to one which detected and rooted out simple sabotage in the workplace.

    Simple Sabotage was declassified by the CIA in 2008. The whole document can be read below—click on image to view larger size.
     
    002sabotagebook.jpg
     
    003sabotagebook.jpg
     
    004sabotagebook.jpg
     
    Read the rest of ‘Simple Sabotage,’ after the jump…
     

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    Pulp’s witty program for the ‘His ‘n’ Hers’ tour
    08.22.2016
    12:42 pm

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    Art
    Music

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    It’s an oversimplification to say that Pulp hit the big time in 1995, but it will always seem to be so because of the international success of the album Different Class and especially the single “Common People,” frequently cited as one of the decade’s best songs (in 2010, for instance, Pitchfork somewhat perversely placed it at #2 behind Pavement’s “Gold Soundz”). But by that time Jarvis and Co. had been slugging it out for in excess of 15 years, with four albums and who knows how many gigs on its ledger. Just a year earlier, His ‘n’ Hers made a significant splash, reaching #9 on the U.K. charts and narrowly failing to outpace Elegant Slumming by M People (right, them) for the 1994 Mercury Music Prize (weirdly, Different Class wasn’t even nominated for 1995).

    In other words, if Different Class was Pulp’s Thriller, then His ‘n’ Hers was its Off the Wall. Now Pulp has never been quick to bless the United States with a surplus of live dates, but they did support His ‘n’ Hers with eight North American dates in 1994 opening for Blur, who were in the middle of a genre-defining apotheosis all their own, although still a year away from a hugely overhyped feud with some Manchester band whose name I cannot currently recall.

    That was in fact Pulp’s first foray into North America, and those residents of Boston, Atlanta, New Orleans, etc., who made it to the gigs were treated with an opportunity to purchase a Pulp tour program spanning 100 pages positively bursting with clever-clever content of a certain kind.

    I’ll let you peruse some of the pages below, but not before presenting this typical .... well, let’s call it a “blurb,” which is credited to Melody Maker (the original list, which was actually a a review of a Paris gig, was originally quite a bit longer and was written by David Bennun).
     

    HEREWITH SOME REASONS TO LOVE PULP:

    A. Pulp understand the minutiae of our dreary little lives.
    B. “Babies” sounds like kinky sex doom disco.
    C. Pulp are unique and brilliant. This is almost unheard of.
    D. Jarvis Cocker is a truly bizarre frontman.
    E. Pulp are a very good live band.
    F. Pulp are a very good live band.
    G. Jarvis writes lyrics like “Hey! You in the jesus sandals, would you like to come over and watch some vandals smashing up someone’s home?”
    H. That’s enough.

     
    The lyric quoted in G are from “Joyriders,” the first track of His ‘n’ Hers. Plenty of similar wit to be found below, especially in the “Catchphrases” slot.
     
    See scans from the program, right after the jump…...
     

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    ‘Posers’: Vintage doc takes a stroll down the King’s Rd. looking for New Romantics, 1981
    08.22.2016
    12:35 pm

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    History
    Music
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    01visblit1.jpg
    The Blitz Club where the Eighties were invented.
     
    Punk was boring. Punk was dead. Punk stopped being interesting when it became chart music. In its place came New Wave—which was really just more of the same played with jangly guitars by bands with a taste for Sixties music. The next really big thing was the utter antithesis of punk. Elitist, pretentious, preening, vain, camp yet utterly inventive.

    It was called “the cult with no name”—because nobody knew what to call it. It didn’t fit any easy categorization. There were soul boys, punks, rockabillies, with a taste for dance music and electronica all in the mix. It was the press who eventually pitched up with the tag New Romantics which stuck.

    I was never quite sure what was supposed to be romantic about the New Romantics. They weren’t starving in garrets or brokenhearted, writing poetry, indulging in absinthe or committing suicide by the dozen. They were all dolled-up to the nines, flaunting it out on the streets—demanding to be seen.

    It had all started with Rusty Egan and Steve Strange running a club night playing Bowie, Roxy Music and Kraftwerk at a venue called Billy’s in 1978.

    Egan was a drummer and DJ. He was in a band with ex-Sex Pistol Glen Matlock called Rich Kids which featured Midge Ure on vocals.
           
    Strange had been inspired to move to London and form a punk band after he saw the Sex Pistols in concert. He moved out of Wales and formed The Moors Murderers. The band included punk icon Soo Catwoman, guitarist Chrissie Hynde and Clash drummer Topper Headon. Together they recorded one notorious single “Free Hindley.”

    The same year, Egan, Strange and Ure formed Visage—which was to become a catalyst for the New Romantics in 1980 with their hit single “Fade to Grey.”
     
    02vistrio2.jpg
    Visage: Steve Strange, Midge Ure and Rusty Egan in 1978.
     
    But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, so let’s be kind and rewind.

    1978: Egan and Strange move their club night to a wine bar-cum-restaurant-cum-dance-club called the Blitz. Egan was the DJ. Strange was on the door. Strange has a strict door policy. No one gets in unless they dressed like superstars.

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    The best worst metal song you’re gonna hear today
    08.22.2016
    09:02 am

    Topics:
    Amusing
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    I had to think twice about posting this Maelstrom Vale song because it’s kinda like shooting fish in a barrel to hold a video like this up for mockery—it’s just too easy, and I’m not really that mean.

    I reconsidered, though, when I realized that I actually sort of love this track and its accompanying video clip, and I think some of our readers might also get the same sort of perverse enjoyment out of it. I love this in the same way that I love The Shaggs or Wesley Willis, or the movies Dangerous Men or The Room—it’s not because the product is simply out-and-out laughably bad, but because its heart is in the right place and it’s rather charming in it’s ineptitude.

    Bless their hearts, they’re trying.

    One thing I can say for the “Doomed Traveler” video here is that I’ve watched this thing about ten times, which is about 9.5 times more than I watch most YouTube videos of new metal bands. There’s something to be said for making something interesting over something technically proficient. And this video is, if nothing else, interesting.

    At times when watching you may ask yourself “can this possibly be for real?”—and the answer is “yes,” Maelstrom Vale is a “real” band (from Canada, if that counts as “real”). Here’s their Facebook page.

    Count here with me, the most epic moments of “Doomed Traveler”:

    0:05 First off, let’s consider this double-bass. It’s the foundation of everything wrong/right with the track.

    0:14 The “foreboding” spoken intro.

    0:20 Almost nails that guitar lick.

    0:43 Death hanging out at the Metal dumpster. It’s a metaphor for the song itself.

    1:00 The bass player’s “melodic” vocals.

    1:27 Turn to the left, turn to the right!

    2:15 This guy again.

    2:25 Chocolate-milk-mustache dirtbag pleads with death near the fuse-box at the warehouse where someone in the band obviously works.

    2:41 That head-bob.

    3:05 Holmes is straight up channeling Greg Ginn here.

    3:31 The bass player gets a bit worn out, needs a break.

    4:10 Dual vocal attack!

    4:44 “THE LIES!”

    5:06 P.S.A. from Maelstrom Vale.

    After the jump, the best worst metal song you’ll hear all day…

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
    Van Halen wanted to crush a Volkswagen Beetle with a tank in 1979… just to piss off Aerosmith
    08.22.2016
    08:59 am

    Topics:
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    Heroes
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    Van Halen on top of a Sherman tank at the CaliFFornia World Music Festival in LA, 1979.
     
    Today’s rock and roll history lesson comes courtesy of David Lee Roth’s highly entertaining 2000 autobiography Crazy From the Heat in which DLR recalls the details about the time VH rented a Sherman tank so they could destroy a vintage VW Bug—all to spite Aerosmith. According to Roth the occasion would mark the last time that he would ever speak to Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the rest of the boys in Aerosmith. Say what you want about Aerosmith but if you’ve got Boston blood flowing through your veins then you also know how to hold a wicked long-term grudge, pal.
     

    Van Halen at the CaliFFornia World Music Festival, 1979.
     
    The story goes that back in 1979 were a part of the CaliFFornia World Music Festival held at the LA Coliseum and on the second night of the two-day festival Van Halen was co-headlining the gig with Aerosmith—who would to on to temporarly implode six-months later after the release of their sixth record Night in the Ruts (or as we called it back in the day in Boston “Right in the Nuts”). In an effort to one-up Aerosmith, the troublemakers in Van Halen cooked up a plan that involved renting a Sherman tank from a local Hollywood prop shop and the purchase of a couple of yellow VW Beetles. The idea was that announcements made over the Coliseum’s PA system would lay the groundwork for folks to think that one of the members of Aerosmith parked the Bug illegally and were asking for it to be moved. The “punchline” in all this excessive craziness was that the tank would roll out just as Van Halen took the stage, crushing the Bug to bits. Sadly someone in VH’s camp must have been a Boston native because Aerosmith caught wind of Van Halen’s shenanigans and had already come up with a plan of their own to one-up the tank gag and VH aborted their awesome caper.

    Since Van Halen does not fuck around when it comes to fucking around they actually tested out the prank by having a hired driver roll the tank down some stairs over one of the yellow Beetles which sent debris hurtling in all directions including one of the doors that Roth still has in his massive collection of Van Halen related artifacts. Luckily a few images of the mighty VH riding on top of the tank and Roth taking a swipe at the pile of rubble that was formerly a VW bug like the charming ringmaster of mayhem that he is exist which I’ve posted below. In my mind if VH had actually pulled this one off the already dangerously drug-addled Aerosmith might have called it a day right then and there and we never would have had to endure the shambolic record that is Night in the Ruts (full disclosure—I love that record and I welcome your hate mail). I’ve included some other photos taken at the festival like the little people security detail “employed” by Van Halen and a few other gems that will make you wish you were there yourself (though I’m sure that at least a few of our DM readers probably were).
     

     
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Goes great with ACID: Behold the completely f*cked up giant wearable cat head
    08.22.2016
    08:58 am

    Topics:
    Amusing
    Art
    Stupid or Evil?

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    The creepy as fuck ‘Real Cat Head’ band.
     
    If you hang out on the Internet long enough you’ll see some stuff that you can never unsee. Such is the case with Housetu Sato’s frighteningly realistic looking and wearable “Real Cat Heads.” Made out of felt, Sato’s freakishly large cat heads became so famous after making their debut on Sato’s Facebook page that they were displayed at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art museum.
     

     
    Since then Sato (a professor at the Japanese School of Wool Art) has apparently received loads of requests from folks wanting to buy his Real Cat Heads and due to that response he obliged and the bizarro feline head gear can now be purchased by those willing to shell out nearly ¥600,000 yen (roughly $5706.14 USD) and they only go up in price from there depending on the design. Each cat head is made to order, stands approximately five feet high (and wide) and the entire process takes about three months to complete. Though it’s noted on Dwango (the site that is selling the heads) that the “Real Cat Heads” are only available to buyers in Japan, apparently if you ask Sato nicely over on his blog he might make an exception for an interested buyer not located in the Land of the Rising Sun.

    Images of folks who appear to have purchased their own giant cat heads as well as examples of Sato’s incredibly realistic handiwork follow. 
     

     

     
    More of this insanity after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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