‘Viking Angel’: Hollywood Babylonia

Actually Huizenga in
If God is in the Hills and the Devil is in the details, then where does that land the glitz of Hollywood? The glitter is there, sure, sparkly, pretty but often masking layers of blood, semen and tears. But isn’t that glamorous too? The grime and soot are as much a part of the picture as the pretty polish and all this and more are explored in post-pop musician/video artist extraordinaire Actually Huizenga’s most epic creation to date, Viking Angel.

Auditioning beautiful, unsure but ambitious aspiring starlets, Mr. Bailey (Louis Oberlander), a blue eyed, bearded Russ Tamblyn-charismatic agent, greets the latest girl. Blonde, lovely and dressed in a sexy approximation of virgin white, the actress (Actually) shows up in his office. A weird tableau of superimposition hell plays on a TV behind her, displaying the legs of basketball players, a neon cross with the words “Jesus Saves” and a future version of herself, naked, bloody and crawling.

The audition, involving lines like “ordinary morality is only for ordinary people,” goes so well that she gets the part and is promptly put through the casting couch process. The film shifts into music video mode with “Male Fantasy” coming on as a Lisa Frank color palette scheme kicks in. A photo of the dismembered body of Elizabeth Short, the infamous “Black Dahlia,” is seen in the background as Bailey soldiers on with his humping. 

Soon, she is being made up and prepped for her big scene, as a newscast comes on a nearby TV. Real newscasts should take a cue from Viking Angel. Animated bats, smoking on the set and dialogue like, “Whatever Ryan, why can’t you just be happy about it?” and “They should be really helping. Not throwing children in the closet with demons.” makes real life news even more mediocre and borderline unbearable. It’s a sick, sad world, with six escaped muscle-bound, sex-starved convicts running around raping and killing innocent families. The newscasters bring on Officer Short (Socrates Mitsios) to discuss the series of new unsolved murders with a matching MO. All of the victims, beautiful and struggling actresses, who have been quartered and drained of blood, Dahlia-style.
Socrates Mitsios in
As they cue to the weather, the actress gets tied up for her “scene,” as an occult procession starts to roll in, complete with topless women asserting themselves into a fleshy Jesus Christ pose and a ritual sacrifice. Realizing that this is not part of the script, she starts to freak and as the blade starts to pierce her skin, Officer Short arrives and manages to rescue her before the wound gets fatal. Simultaneously, an Insane Viking Warrior (Daniel Pierce) shows up, complete with crazed eyes, ripped six pack and chain mail loincloth, as well as a sexy version of the goddess Freya who looks identical to the actress.

The Officer manages to grab the actress and they crawl out of a hole in the ground, which is flanked by a grinning, dancing gentleman (Gerald) twirling a cardboard sign stating “Sacrifice Here.” They run away, while being unknowingly followed by the Viking Warrior, who lets out a scream of the ages before going on the chase. Down the rabbit hole they go, encountering an S&M bar with whipped businessmen and masturbating Santas, coitus interruptus thanks to vivisection via electric guitar, mass stabbings, watermelon being pierced by a high heel and an ethereal pope figure. 
This is all gonna end in blood.
Viking Angel is a fluid ride into a universe that intertwines the harsh realities of a violent, superficial world and the dreamy, love-lorn paganism of mythology. The music is a terrific mix of electro-sex-pop with metal undertones, thanks to some stellar guitar work courtesy of Gabriel Tanaka. With Huizenga’s background being music videos and the experimental film work of the SoftRock series, Viking Angel is a seamless blend of these twin formats. There is Huizenga’s brilliant editing style, working superimposition like a well-oiled-acid-laced-machine. The visual layering that is utilized here is like the world’s most stunning pastiche, with the tone of sensuality, bloodletting and the occult playing out like the art-child of Kenneth Anger.

Performance wise, Actually is pitch perfect both as the beautiful starlet who spends ¾ of the film caked in blood during her infernal journey, as well as the strong Freya-type doppelganger. As Mr. Bailey, Louis Oberlander is the epitome of blue-eyed Hollywood sleaze as he leads the sex & death show. Mitsios is charismatic as Officer Short and speaking of which, Gabriel Tanaka is equally striking as both the literally killer guitarist and the ghostly, androgynous Pope.
Glitter & Grue
The biggest challenge about Viking Angel has nothing to do with the film itself, but the multi-boundary pushing going on. Art crowds will get fussy about the blood and pop music. Horror fans could grouse about the art and pop music. Pop music fans will recoil from the grue and metal undertones, but you know what? That’s why this work is so wonderful and so needed. If your own boundaries are not pushed, then someone is not doing their job. Playing it safe is the last thing any artist should do, while playing it true to their work and vision is the absolute first thing they should do. Actually Huizenga is the real deal and has created a world that is striking, beautiful, nightmarish and complex with Viking Angel. Lucky for both fans and the curious, Huizenga has an upcoming multi-media tour highlighting both the film, the new tunes, as well as an additional performance by cult music wunderkind Ssion. Dates are not yet confirmed but will be posted on her website as soon as they are set.

Posted by Heather Drain | Discussion
Elvis Costello buys avocados in an American supermarket, 1978

Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello contemplating olives
I don’t know exactly where this footage came from, but it’s delightful, whatever it is. To say it’s a 20/20 segment would be misleading but it appears to be the raw footage for a 20/20 segment that may never have ended up happening. Geraldo Rivera sure is seen here hanging out with Elvis Costello and the Attractions in mid-1978, and he sure is behaving like someone trying to put together some piquant footage for such a segment. This Year’s Model, arguably Elvis’s best album, was released in March of 1978, so that’s the product they were supporting here.

This footage was taped during the Elvis Costello and the Attractions U.S. tour of 1978. The Elvis Costello Wiki asserts that footage for 20/20 was taped on April 22, the day they played two gigs at Royal Oak, Michigan, and May 4, the day of their Boston appearance. The opening acts were Mink DeVille and Nick Lowe with Rockpile.
Elvis Costello
The two clips can be usefully called “Tour Bus” and “Supermarket.” The first isn’t super interesting, we see Elvis Costello and a few other guys exit a Howard Johnson’s, where they had stayed the night, and pile into a tour bus—Geraldo tapes an intro in which he makes a lot of the fact that the gang is down-to-earth enough to use a bus. The bus, named “Successful Living,” is cramped indeed. You can hear the Rutles’ “I Must Be in Love” and “Ouch!” playing in the background, and the fellows humming along. Future historians will want to know that Elvis was a Rutles fan.
Successful Living
The second clip has far more incident. The gang enters an A&P, they pick up some milk and some beer, Elvis grabs two avocados and they head for the checkout line. A matronly woman with a European accent informs Elvis that her son plays “bass”—I’m almost positive she means with a bow—Geraldo asks a woman if she likes “punk rock” and the woman, appearing not to understand, indicates that she drinks it. The nonplussed cashier Gertrude—love her sailor-style A&P outfit—has the most honest reaction to Geraldo’s leading question about punk rock: “I think it’s wonderful. You’re a group, a singing group or something?” before cackling endearingly. Skinny ties abound. Dave Edmunds wears a black jacket, and Nick Lowe can be seen clutching an orange.
Geraldo and Elvis
“Tour Bus”:



Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
‘Sex Freak’: A young RuPaul performs on cable access TV. No band, no budget, all charisma
01:07 pm

Pop Culture


Despite my ardent endorsement of RuPaul as “America’s sweetheart,” she’s been catching a lot of criticism lately, and not from a bloodthirsty religious right (who apparently know how to better pick their culture wars these days). A feature on her hit show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, called “Female or She-male,” has been cut from the air after many trans advocates found it offensive. In the segment, contestants were shown pictures of body parts and asked to guess what gender or sex of person possessed said body part. Anatomical “guessing games” have certainly historically demeaned queer people, and a lot of of folks were understandably upset, finding the game “othering.” Many trans advocates have have also argued against Ru’s use of the word “tranny,” as they maintain it’s a slur used to describe trans women and not gay men who do drag.

For the record, I’m not speculating on anybody’s body parts (which is vulgar and cruel, without invitation), nor am I ever calling anybody “tranny,” but I do think time will show that RuPaul is on the right side of history. On the first count, the body parts used for “Female or She-Male” were done with volunteer participants—it was not some zoological expedition intending to “expose” the “unreal” women. On the second count, “transgender” (as opposed to “transsexual” or “transvestite”) wasn’t even a concept until the term was coined in 1979 by early trans celebrity Christine Jorgensen (interestingly, many gay men accused her of homophobia, arguing she implied that gay men were women trapped in men’s bodies). Additionally, at least until 1992,  “transgender” included “transsexuals, transgenderists, and cross dressers” according to International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy. Terminology changes to accommodate developing ideas in gender theory, and to expect everyone to retrofit their own identities to the latest language (which may or may not stick around for very long) ignores context and history.

From a purely technical standpoint, to say that “tranny” is a slur only used to describe a single type of gender nonconformity gives the bigots who use it epithetically way too much credit—they’re not really having nuanced, in-depth conversations on the difference between sex and gender identification. I’m sure RuPaul has been called “tranny” in her life (and though identities as a man, doesn’t really care too much about pronouns or identity in general)—I think it’s pretty inconsistent that she now be barred from using the word.

Regardless, I find the latest social justice culture’s obsession with “pure” language to be a bit wrong-headed, not to mention politically impotent, so I thought I’d like to post a reminder of what it is that makes RuPaul so groundbreaking. Here we see a 1986 clip from the brilliant Atlanta cable access program, American Music Show, one of the longest running public access shows, ever, and a veritable treasure trove of weirdo outsider performance. Ru is seen here performing “Sex Freak,” from his very first 12 inch EP release of the same name, and since it’s a spoken-word techno song, he romances the camera with an amazing resourcefulness. No band, no budget, and yet all that charisma and confidence still shines through!

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
The Idiot: Iggy Pop totally charms square daytime TV audience, 1977
10:45 am


David Bowie
Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop’s classic album, The Idiot, is now 37 years old. It still sounds as good today as when it was released in spring of 1977, although the times have caught up to it. Somewhat at least.

Produced by David Bowie, who co-wrote all of the songs with Iggy, save for one (Bowie’s longtime guitarist Carlos Alomar co-wrote “Sister Midnight), The Idiot has very little in common with the rest of the Igster’s output, even his next record, Lust for Life, also produced in collaboration with Bowie. No, The Idiot‘s Teutonic-sounding industrial drone had almost no connection whatsoever to the sound of The Stooges, or really even most things of that era, come to think of it.

Bowie’s own Low album had just come out in January and was considered mind-blowing, even controversial at the time. The Idiot, released just a few weeks later (but mostly recorded first), was an equally chilly-sounding affair, but way darker and with a much bigger whomp. It’s sort of the perfect marriage of their talents.

As Bowie told Kurt Loder in 1989:

Poor Jim, in a way, became a guinea pig for what I wanted to do with sound. I didn’t have the material at the time, and I didn’t feel like writing at all. I felt much more like laying back and getting behind someone else’s work, so that album was opportune, creatively.

The Idiot was the first Iggy album that you could easily buy in a small town. I was eleven when it came out and I already owned both Raw Power and a blue vinyl Metallic ‘KO—both purchased unheard via mail order from a Moby Disc Records ad in CREEM magazine, a monthlong round trip—so when I brought The Idiot home from the mall and slapped it on the turntable, I was perplexed at first, but ultimately thrilled. “Dum Dum Boys” and “Mass Production” were my favorite tracks. The druggy, nightmarish vamp “Nightclubbing” was another. I played the shit out of that album.

When Iggy and Bowie toured that spring in support of The Idiot, they made a stop on daytime television’s Dinah! show, hosted by singer Dinah Shore. Bowie had been on Dinah! to promote Station to Station (with fellow guests Nancy Walker and Henry Winkler) and seemed to have a good rapport with Shore, so it was arranged that he would guest with Iggy, who sang a live “Sister Midnight” after Shore introduced him—her show was on at 10am in the TV market I lived in—with a photograph of him covered in blood! Dinah! may have been a middle-of-the-road daytime TV show, but to her credit, Dinah Shore didn’t shy away from asking him about it either (as Bowie laughs and shakes his head “No!”). Shore’s square studio audience, too, seem to actually be charmed by Jimmy Osterberg’s tales of his misspent youth, drug addiction and self-harming, because, hey let’s face it, the man was charisma personified during this delightful chat

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Classical music’s greatest shitty reviews

I’ve long felt that dismissive asshole music writers can be every bit as valuable as thoughtful and rigorous ones. Yes, a think piece on why it’s important that so-and-so’s reunion album is held as a disappointment by the cognoscenti and what that consensus might say about the cultural priorities of a generation can be thought provoking and illuminating, and I’m absolutely going to read that piece. But sometimes I only need to hear from the smugging, brickbat-lobbing prick who’ll just flat out tell me that a record is dog shit and that my money would be better spent on maybe a nice lunch. When the ‘zine explosion hit in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, I always particularly enjoyed titles like Forced Exposure, Your Flesh, and Motorbooty, some of whose writers would just absolutely SAVAGE a band for being even slightly sub-par—not because I had any particular hardon to see sincere creative strivers get slammed, but because these mags’ ranks were swelling with Bangs/Meltzer aspirants who did their best to be really damn clever with their invective. I succumbed to that temptation, myself, in my youth as an embryonic writer. Not gonna lie, ill-tempered nastiness could be (oh, who am I kidding with the past tense, still is) a great deal of fun, so long as it wasn’t a crutch, and I got validation for it from readers who found such caustic bastardy engaging and funny.

But a book I picked up back in the early oughts revealed to me a tradition for brutal critical smartassery reaching back long before the rock era. Nicolas Slonimsky’s Lexicon of Musical Invective, originally published in 1953, but revived with new editions in 1965 and 2000, contains hundreds of pages of critical blasts, going as far back as the turn of the 19th Century, at works that later became untouchables in the classical music canon. I’m normally one to seek out the oldest edition of a book I can affordably get my hands on, but in the case of the Lexicon, the 2000 publication not only holds the advantage of still being in print, it has a wonderful foreword by Peter “P.D.Q. Bach” Schickele, from whence:

It is a widely known fact—or, at least, a widely held belief—that negative criticism is more entertaining to read than enthusiastic endorsement. There is certainly no doubt that many critics write pans with an unbridled gusto that seems to be lacking in their (usually rarer) raves, and these critics often become more famous, or infamous, than their less caustic colleagues.

Most of us feel constrained, in person, to say politely pleasant things to creative artists no matter what we think of their work; perhaps this penchant of ours endows blisteringly bad reviews with a cathartic strength…

And perhaps much of the appeal of the Lexicon to a classical-music dilettante like me lies in how it’s all the more entertaining to read slams on works that are so long-embedded in our culture, so widely regarded as timeless works of surpassing genius, that it’s hard to even imagine some grump throughly torpedoing them.

On Richard Strauss’ Salome:

“A reviewer…should be an embodied conscience stung into righteous fury by the moral stench with which Salome fills the nostrils of humanity, but, though it makes him retch, he should be sufficiently judicial in his temperament to calmly look at the drama in all its aspects and determine whether or not as a whole it is an instructive note on the life and culture of the times and whether or not this exudation from the diseased and polluted will and imagination of the authors marks a real advance in artistic expression.”
—H.E. Krehbiel, New York Tribune, January 23,1907

“I am a man of middle life who has devoted upwards of twenty years to the practice of a profession that necessitates a daily intimacy with degenerates. I say after deliberation that Salome is a detailed and explicit exposition of the most horrible, disgusting, revolting, and unmentionable features of degeneracy that I have ever heard, read of, or imagined.”
—letter to the New York Times, January 21, 1907

On Claude Debussy’s La Mer:

“M. Debussy wrote three tonal pictures under the general title of The Sea… It is safe to say that few understood what they heard and few heard anything they understood… There are no themes distinct and strong enough to be called themes. There is nothing in the way of even a brief motif that can be grasped securely enough by the ear and brain to serve as a guiding line through the tonal maze. There is no end of queer and unusual effects in orchestration, no end of harmonic combinations and progressions that are so unusual that they sound hideously ugly.”
—W.L. Hubbard, Chicago Tribune, January 30, 1909

“We believe that Shakespeare means Debussy’s ocean when he speaks of taking up arms against a sea of troubles. It may be possible, however, that in the transit to America, the title of this work has been changed. It is possible that Debussy did not intend to cal it La Mer, but Le Mal de Mer, which would at once make the tone-picture as clear as day. It is a series of symphonic pictures of sea sickness.”
—Louis Elson, Boston Daily Advertiser, April 22 1907
More shitty reviews after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
Chinese space babies, the taikonaut tykes of the future!
07:45 am



Little Guests in the Moon Palace, 1972 
You may recall a post I did a while back on Soviet holiday cards and their predilection for space travel. If you were able to get past the whole “Santa on a rocket ship” motif, you might have also noticed the prevalence of a little boy in cosmonaut get-up, another symbol of the USSR’s vision of an exciting future of fantastic technological advances—one which awaited all good little Soviet children. In the US, of course, the space race was a far more sober affair. NASA didn’t really produce this kind of propaganda, beyond some (admittedly very cool) space colony concept art. So while the US promoted a much more “dignified” view of space technology, Soviet space imagery was much more familiar.

However, Chinese space propaganda makes the Soviet stuff look like military school. Progress is commonly represented by children and technology in a lot of nationalist art, but the Chinese child taikonauts are a step beyond. This stuff is so kid friendly, it had toys, puppies, bunnies, and all manner of toddler-friendly spacecraft. Perhaps hoping to excite the younger generations, these pieces abandon almost any semblance of science fiction and go straight to fantasy. 

Take the Spaceship and Tour the Universe, 1962

Bringing his playmates to the stars, 1980
More space babies after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
UFO, weird weather, birds… or an angry god? That mysterious black ring in the sky, explained
06:09 am



You may have read about the mysterious “big black ring” that recently appeared in the sky over Leamington Spa, near Warwick Castle in England?

The strange black halo was captured by 16-year-old schoolgirl Georgina Heap on her iPhone, as it appeared overhead whilst she was playing tennis with her mother, Jo. The ring floated in the air for several minutes, before disappearing. When Georgina shared the footage with the British media, it led to considerable debate as to what the mysterious circle could possibly be?

Was it possibly something to do with the weather, a rain cloud perhaps? The Met Office said no, it was not weather related.

Was it a UFO? Nick Pope, an expert on UFOs and former government advisor, said no, it looked more organic in form.

Was the black ring was made up by thousands of swarming insects, or possibly birds?

And lastly and most unlikely, was the ominous black ring a sign of a disgruntled deity calling time on humanity….?

None of these answers seemed to fit (especially the last one) and a search for what could have caused the hovering halo led to considerable debate on social media and television as to what exactly had Georgina filmed?

Well, all can now be revealed, and while some sticklers were hoping for a close encounter with some alien intelligence, the mysterious circle has turned out to be nothing more than a puff of smoke caused by fireworks launched from nearby Warwick Castle.

BBC News reports that a spokesman from Warwick Castle explained on Tuesday afternoon that they had been testing “fire effects” to go with the daily firing of the Trebuchet Fireball—a giant catapult.

“We’ve seen a number of different effects, including the vortex images that have been reported,” the spokesman said. “As yet we don’t know what causes the phenomenon but it’s certainly a spooky spectacle.”

So, there you have it, no UFOs, no god, and certainly no treason, or plot. Just a little gunpowder.

Via BBC News

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Watch Lou Reed interview his 100-year-old Polish immigrant cousin in his short film, ‘Red Shirley’
05:57 am


Lou Reed
Red Shirley

Lou Reed and his 100-year-old cousin, “Red” Shirley Novick
Lou Reed’s deeply personal directorial debut does not ease the audience into its heavy subject matter slowly. In the very first shot, we see his cousin Shirley Novick on her 100th birthday. She dedicates the film to her hometown in Poland, and the Jews that once resided there. She says she wants to talk about her family who died in the Holocaust, along with all the Jews of her town, and she thanks her cousin for the opportunity to tell her story. Off-camera you hear Lou’s unmistakable voice, “Is that the statement?” She nods and he gives a little applause.

What follows is the recounting of a truly fascinating life. During World War Two, Shirley’s town was under siege, and she remembers hiding in the Russian church as a child while Russian and German troops fought it out. At 19 she left Poland with two suitcases and settled in Montreal for six months. Finding it too “provincial,” she left for New York—Lou laughs a little at the idea of a 19- year-old-girl from the shtetl finding someplace “too provincial.” With the help of an uncle, Shirley found work in New York’s infamously exploitative garment industry—she was a real live factory girl. What followed was 47 years of ardent labor activism—she even joined the 1963 civil rights march on Washington. Despite her hand in fighting for a more just United States, she never became a legal citizen, on principle.

Despite the struggle and tragedy throughout her life, Red Shirley is ultimately a very warm film, and not without levity. At one point she recounts a shell hitting her family’s home that failed to detonate and how they just left it in the wall unable to remove it. Perhaps a little overwhelmed by the brutal conditions of Shirley’s early life, Lou just starts laughing, saying, “This is terrible.” He also replies with a lot of “You can’t be serious,” and “You’re joking,” and it seems not so much from actual disbelief, but from that incredulity one feels when they hear a very intense personal story. Lou is visibly tickled by her company, and witnessing their affectionate conversation is an intimate experience. The film is both technically and emotionally lovely.

Via Open Culture

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
Devil’s Gateway: Throbbing Gristle live in Manchester
07:57 pm


Throbbing Gristle

Cosey Fanni Tutti onstage at Rafters. Photo by Peter Bargh

About twelve years ago I was having a conversation with a rock snob pal of mine who opined that Throbbing Gristle was “noise… unlistenable shite.” As I normally respected his taste in music, I decided to to make him a mixed CD to prove that this wasn’t even close to being accurate (they made avant garde classical music for a barren, post-apocalyptic landscape, obviously!) I’ve listened to TG for over thirty years and I know that catalog better than most people. In fact, I even had a long-running argument with Genesis P-Orridge about a song he insisted didn’t exist called “Want You To Kill,” which I was ultimately able to prove did exist. I really do know the insides and outs of TG’s recorded output.

I based my TG mix on the notion explored by A Young Person’s Guide to King Crimson, in other words, a “primer” for a notoriously difficult to categorize band. Something to ease in new listeners who could have been scared off the group should they have picked up something like the live Mission of Dead Souls album first. Over the years there have been a lot of unofficial TG releases. If you don’t know what the good stuff is, it’s probably more of a crapshoot with them than with most groups. (There is one TG bootleg titled Kreeme Horn that Genesis told me was mostly just him and Chris Carter turning stuff on in their studio and letting it warm up and feed back on itself while a tape was running. For the record, I love that one!)

Convinced that this needed to be an actual product in the marketplace—call it a gateway drug—I suggested it to the members of the group. Ultimately they released The Taste of TG (subtitled “A Beginner’s Guide to the Music of Throbbing Gristle”) compilation, but the overlap with my picks was minimal.

A very sweet spot if you’re dipping a toe into Throbbing Gristle’s wall of noise is a live 1979 performance in Manchester released as “Live at The Factory” (and “Live at the Death Factory”) on bootlegs. Most of it is spread across volumes 3 & 4 of the live TG boxset released in 1993 as well. I think it’s the best start to finish TG concert. I’d even give it the edge over their Heathen Earth set. Everything that was astonishing about TG live comes together in this one show. They called their gigs “psychic rallies” and the Manchester show certainly was one. There’s an incredible “mind meld” going on here, as their shows were largely improvised.

“... the one in Manchester… It only happens once every six or seven. You suddenly hit it. It’s like a seance. It’s almost like you’ve been taken over or something’s coming through that’s nothing to do with you or the people there - and everyone can feel it, but you can’t describe it, and that’s why sometimes when it’s like that and people try and describe the gig to someone else they sort of talk about it like a kind of drug or a religious experience. The words they use are much more like that and they almost never talk about the music… because it isn’t music, it’s something else… It was very tribal and pagan, the whole feeling. Like one girl got hysterical… she just couldn’t handle it, and it was like one of those gospel meetings where the odd person goes over the top, you know… and that’s why we started calling them psychic rallies… it’s actually more accurate; a rally or a ceremony that we’re trying to generate a psychic event, and that’s why we deliberately changed it to say that we’re basically no longer affiliated with music in any way. Although we use sound in some musical pattern, our basic concern is a psychic one… and it will become more so, and that’s probably why I feel we’ll have to change the name. So that we can start again and become even more and more focused on that side of it without the history of TG to spoil it.”

Genesis P-Orridge, 1981


Genesis, looking just a little bit nuts, onstage at Rafters. Photo by Peter Bargh

Live at the Death Factory (side one): “Weapon Training,” “See You Are,” “Convincing People,” “Hamburger Lady”

Live at the Death Factory (side two): “His Arm Was Her Leg,” “What A Day,” “Persuasion,” “Five Knuckle Shuffle”
Manchester audiences seemed to inspire the group. Here’s a second astonishing TG set from Manchester, shot at the Rafters nightclub on December 4, 1980. The softness of the vérité VHS video lends the proceedings an impressionistic gloss. but the sound quality is quite a bit better than their shows that were supposedly recorded on cheap Sony cassette tapes. The voice you hear on tape at the beginning is Aleister Crowley’s, by the way.

Set list: “Illuminated 666,” “Betrayed Womb Of Corruption,” “Very Friendly,” “Something Come Over Me,” “Playground,” “Auschwitz,” “Devil’s Gateway”

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Did the Illuminati build a secret defense pyramid in North Dakota?
03:32 pm


Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex

I don’t believe in the Illuminati, but if I did then I’m sure that I would feel that my pet conspiracy theories about a secret cabal running the world would be bolstered by these incredible photographs of a secret pyramid built by the US government in the middle of North Dakota, one of America’s least populated states.

These pictures are of the Nekoma Pyramid, which was part of the Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex, named after the former U.S. Army Air Defense Commanding General. Construction started in the early seventies and was completed in 1975. The Nekoma Pyramid was a missile site radar complex, used to locate missiles fired from foreign powers at the USA so that they could be destroyed. The base was armed with 30 Spartan anti-ballistic missiles and sixteen short-range Sprint missiles.

Firstly, why build a pyramid? The pyramid is one of the key symbols associated with the Illuminati, so was the architect “one of them” or was it just a coincidence? Who suggested a pyramid? Was it a more functional geometry for an all-seeing eye?

Secondly, who knew this base even existed out there in the wilderness? Not many, I’d guess.

The Mickelsen Safeguard Complex was deactivated on February 10th, 1976, less than a year after it had become operational and after tens of millions of dollar had been spent there. The reason was an arms limitation treaty that had been signed with the Soviet Union in 1972 limiting each side to only one such base.

A set of pictures taken for the government by photographer Benjammin Halpern, are available for viewing at the Library of Congress.
More photographs of the Nekoma, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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