“Love Letters From Craig” is the delicious brainchild of an Amsterdam-based company called Cartelle that appropriates and recontextualizes posts from the “casual encounters” section of Craigslist, certainly one of the steamiest (and frequently, most X-rated) sections of the well-known free personals website.
Those Craigslist posts basically consist of people spelling out the exact kinky thing they’re looking to do with a stranger, using a curiously encoded manner of communication—most messages feature at least 1 or 2 acronyms whose meanings aren’t immediately obvious. On “Love Letters From Craig” those messages are read aloud by a robotic voice of the type you might hear emanating from your GPS, while images of items signifying sex and/or oral stimulation (disembodied boobs, a lipstick, a glazed donut, a lollipop, cherries, bananas, pills, etc.) blandly float by. The formal register lends even such attention-getting phrases as “love making out, mutual oral, rimming, toys, spanking, w/s, shower play” an odd kind of dignity.
Cartelle is calling this strange exercise in voyeurism “a romantic exploration into the perversions of modern-day digital hookups.” According to Cartelle, “The contents are not moderated and completely automated, only enhanced by sensual porno beats and tasty, sexy visuals.” “Love Letters From Craig” scrapes new content from the Craigslist servers on an hourly basis.
I don’t know what it all means, but I find watching it strangely mesmerizing.
Diane Coffee is the nom de rock of voice actor Shaun Fleming, known for roles in Kim Possible and Lilo & Stitch: The Series. He later became the drummer for indie-psych weirdos Foxygen before recording his own music as Diane Coffee. His first album, My Friend Fish, is noteworthy for having been self-recorded in two weeks, partly with makeshift instruments on the voice memo app of Coffee’s iPhone. Seriously. You’d never know to hear it, the album still sounds quite polished (maybe lo-fi is dead after all), and it hearkens back to the weird psych and glam singer-songwriters of the ‘70s. Shades of Emitt Rhodes, Marc Bolan, Jobriath, and even Flo & Eddie are discernible in Coffee’s work.
Coffee’s second album, Everybody’s a Good Dog, isn’t such a low-budget affair, and I have to wonder if Coffee hasn’t been listening to any of Chris Holmes’ ‘90s work in Sabalon Glitz and Yum Yum. Good Dog was recorded in a proper studio, and it boasts horn and string sections, plus some stylistic departures: “Down With the Current” feels like a direct descendent of classic mid-‘60s Motown, and “Not That Easy” is basically acid doo-wop. There are still precious pop gems and big psych freakouts, though; a track that straddles both is “Soon To Be, Won’t To Be,” which ably blurs the line between Boettcher-esque sunshine pop and bongwater-soaked subterranean fuzz-psych.
The video for “Soon To Be…,” which Dangerous Minds is pleased to premiere below, is perfectly worthy of the song—it’s an old-school animation, hand drawn frame-by-frame by illustrator Danny Lacy, who some of our readers might know as the creator of “Crack-Duck” for Adult Swim Canada. After animating it, Lacy ran the final product through old analog videotape editors to achieve the kind of degradation only tape can manage, a familiar effect to anyone who remembers when sharing videos was a matter of swapping nth-generation VHS dubs. We think the result is pretty stunning. See if you don’t agree.
Giant papier-mâché masks at the Venice Beach Mardi Gras Festival, 1935
On August 16th, 1935, California’s fabled Venice Beach kicked off its very first Mardi Gras Festival. The celebration (which was inspired by New Orleans’ Mardi Gras) included events such as parades, the Miss California Beauty Pageant, the coronation of Queen Venetia by King Neptune, and a gala ball that concluded the three-day celebration.
Miss California on her float surrounded by giant papier-mâché masks during the Venice Beach Mardi Gras, mid-1930s
Clark Gable mask, Venice Beach Mardi Gras, mid-1930s
A poster for Blue Cheer and Jerry Abrams’ Head Lights at the Salt Lake Coliseum
Before he broke into the porn business with 1970’s Overdose of Degradation, Jerry Abrams was a fixture on the San Francisco psychedelic scene. As Head Lights, Abrams and his partner Glenn McKay put on some of the most fondly remembered light shows of the era, to the extent such things are remembered at all. Bill Graham gave Head Lights regular work at the Fillmore after the company dazzled the crowd at Monterey Pop. They did the light shows for the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Big Brother and the Holding Company, among others.
Between 1967 and 1968, Abrams also directed three psychedelic short films: Be-In, Lotus Wing and Eyetoon. The last of these, with its “Fuck for Peace” theme, pointed in the direction of his, uh, more mature work. But here’s Abrams’ first movie, which simply condensed the Human Be-In, held in Golden Gate Park in January 1967, into seven minutes of manic activity and brilliant colors, set to a soundtrack by Blue Cheer.
A book signing at a Dallas record store last night turned into a surprise reunion concert of the original Alice Cooper band. The reported 200 people in attendance got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see one of the best bands that ever existed.
What the attendees there for the signing didn’t realize was that Alice himself was on deck.
Reports are still coming in, but as we’ve been told, no one knew what they were in for. One attendee posted to Facebook: “Alice’s unannounced walk on took the roof off the building, and our brains.”
Photo by Bucks Burnett via Facebook
The short set consisted of “Caught in a Dream,” “Be My Lover,” “Eighteen,” “Is It My Body,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “Under My Wheels, “and “School’s Out.” Michael Bruce sang on “Caught in a Dream” and then Ryan Roxie joined on lead guitar for the rest of the set, starting with “Be My Lover.”
Photo by Bobby Beeman via Facebook
Photo by Bobby Beeman via Facebook. “What an amazing night. The whole thing was like a dream.”
The rest of us get to be jealous of what those lucky folks witnessed last night. Here’s crossing our fingers that there will be more similar appearances in the future for Alice’s best band.
We assume more video will be seeing the light of day at the speed of Internet, but for now we have found this from last night. We’ll update this with more video and information as it comes in.
Chantal Akerman has died. Cause of death was suicide. She was 65 years old. I wrote about Akerman’s News From Home a few years ago here on Dangerous Minds. As a tribute to her fine work as a director, cinematographer and writer, I am sharing it again.
The films of Chantal Akerman are meditations on space, interior and exterior, and the emptiness within the clutter of both. There is a sense of alienation and distance in her films that can be chilly and desolate. The camera moored to the urbanscapes and architecture she sets her eye upon. Her art records the simple drama that exists in the day to day rhythm of life as lived, rarely pumped up by any narrative or cinematic gimmickry. Under the steady gaze of the camera the ordinary can be quite magical.
In Akerman’s News From Home , the main character is New York in the rough and tumble ‘70s. Akerman, a young woman alone in the city during perilous times, uses the camera as a means of dealing with a new and alien reality. As Akerman reads from letters sent from Belgium written by her concerned mother, we watch Manhattan in constant movement, a living, breathing thing. Among the people, buildings, automobiles and streets of the city, there is the quiet, lonely soul who observes and feels apart from it all - watching detached, without engagement but great curiosity. The letters create an intimacy that contrasts profoundly with the coolness of the imagery.
Shot in 1977, News From Home, captures New York at a time when many artists, like Akerman, were coming to the city to tap into the energy and to be challenged by the prospects of living in the belly of the beast. It was a wonderful time, but it was also a dark time. In these images, you see a city on the cusp of transformation…for the good and the bad. From a purely historical point of view, to see 90 uninterrupted minutes of Manhattan in the mid-70s is a treat for my eyes. Rich with memories. This is the New York that informed revolutions in popular arts and spawned the arrival of punk culture.
Click the option to watch it in high definition, the clarity is stunning.
Frank Miller drew Superman’s wang: This is an actual comic cover drawn by legendary comic artist Frank Miller. It’s the cover to a companion comic to Miller’s upcoming Dark Knight III: The Master Race series, and it appears DC is actually going to publish it despite the fact that 1) it is horrible, 2) it is laughable and 3) you can clearly see the outline of Superman’s junk in his red briefs. (io9)
A glitch in time: How Oval’s 1995 ambient masterpiece predicted our digital present: By virtue of being atmospheric, ambient music tends to make the listener aware of the hardware involved in reproducing it, so it’s always, in a sense, about technology. But Oval’s version was a direct engagement with the up-to-the-minute details of sound recording, storage, and reproduction. With Oval, a critique of the entire system of recorded music was built into every gesture. (Pitchfork)
Antivax activists fund yet another study to “prove” vaccines cause autism, which they don’t:Three dozen dead monkeys later, antivaxxers are STILL WRONG. Heartbreaking and disgusting. (Science Based Medicine)
Who the N.R.A. Really Speaks For: Not that this should come as a surprise to anyone who’s at all attentive and non-delusional, but the N.R.A. does not fight for the rights of America’s gun owners, it’s a lobbying group representing the commercial interests of gun and ammunition manufacturers. (New York Times)
No, Carly Fiorina, a degree in medieval history doesn’t qualify you to fight ISIS: Worst-person-in-the-world contender Fiorina is a approaching Trumpian levels of GOP sideshow amusement lately. (The Guardian)
There’s a “Sexy Pizza Rat” Halloween costume: You thought the “sexy” costume trope shark-jumped ages ago? Nope. IT CAN ALWAYS GET DUMBER. (HuffPo)
Drug Kingpin El Chapo puts 100 million USD on Donald Trump, dead or alive: YIKES! We aren’t over-fond of him either, but holy shit. The world’s most wanted and most dangerous drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, is offering a US$100 million bounty for whoever delivers billionaire and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump to him dead or alive. (TeleSur)
Kurt Cobain—“Sappy”: A 7″ containing Cobain’s cover of the Beatles’ “And I Love Her” and an early demo version of Nirvana rarity “Sappy,” alternately known as “Sad”—both used in the film Montage of Heck—is coming out, and today, the latter has arrived. A similar early version of the song has been available on bootlegs and online for a while now, but this is a cleaner, slightly polished up mix, and it sounds both great and heartbreaking. (Stereogum)
The world ends tomorrow and YOU MAY DIE! While our planet may have survived September’s “blood moon”, it will be permanently destroyed on Wednesday, 7 October, a Christian organization has warned. The eBible Fellowship, an online affiliation headquartered near Philadelphia, has based its prediction of an October obliteration on a previous claim that the world would end on 21 May 2011. While that claim proved to be false, the organization is confident it has the correct date this time. (The Guardian)
Hackable DIY synthesizer kit for only $40: This straightforward, three-pot kit looks like loads of beginner-friendly fun. (Tech Will Save Us)
This drunk kid really, really wanted mac & cheese:
When a chubby Marlon Brando roared into town on a motorbike in The Wild One he popularized the black leather jacket as a fashionable symbol of rebellion. Leather jackets may have been worn by bikers for protection, but they were quickly adopted by rock musicians (from Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, The Beatles to Elvis) as an endorsement of their outsider status.
While fashions changed in the 1960s to soft denim and psychedelic colors, the black leather jacket never lost its iconic status as edgy, radical and subversive. The black leather jacket of the revolutionary students in Paris in 1968, became the fashionable uniform of the chaotic Baader-Meinhof, before returning to its spiritual home in the form of the matching outfits of proto-punk rockers The Ramones.
Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy made the black leather jacket de rigueur for punks, and soon became the latest fashion sold by a canny Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren in their London boutique SEX.
Teenagers across the UK bought cheap black leather or faux leather jackets and decorated them with the names of their favorite bands, political slogans, or mini manifestoes written in White Out, paint, or nail polish. There was a naif art to such DIY accessorizing, a uniqueness that encapsulated the essence of punk (its ability to offend) and the character of the jacket’s owner.
This small selection of photographs captures some of the early DIY punk leather jackets from the mid-1970s to the later more fashion conscious dress code of the 1980s and 1990s. Nowadays a punk leather jacket with studs and badges will set you back $200 on eBay.
This is weird, but I get it: a group of protestors took up signs against the Impressionist master Pierre-Auguste Renoir at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The protest was organized via an Instagram called “Renoir Sucks at Painting,” which yesterday published a call for the resignation of BMFA’s curators. Via the Boston Globe:
It’s nothing personal, says Ben Ewen-Campen, he just doesn’t think French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir is much of a painter. Monday, the Harvard postdoc joined some like-minded aesthetes for a playful protest outside the Museum of Fine Arts. The rally, which mostly bewildered passersby, was organized by Max Geller, creator of the Instagram account Renoir Sucks at Painting, who wants the MFA to take its Renoirs off the walls and replace them with something better. Holding homemade signs reading “God Hates Renoir” and “Treacle Harms Society,” the protesters ate cheese pizza purchased by Geller, and chanted: “Put some fingers on those hands! Give us work by Paul Gauguin !” and “Other art is worth your while! Renoir paints a steaming pile!” Craig Ronan, an artist from Somerville, learned about the protest on Instagram and decided to join. “I don’t have any relationship with these people aside from wanting artistic justice,” he said. The museum hasn’t commented on the fledgling movement, but a few folks walking by Monday seemed amused. “I love their sense of irony,” said Liz Byrd, a grandmother from Phoenix who spent the morning in the museum with her daughter and grandchild. “I love Renoir, but I think this is great.”
That Instagram is loaded with detail shots of Renoir paintings purporting to show the artist’s ineptitude, and, far more amusingly, museumgoers flipping off paintings. And again, I get it. While Impressionism is correctly heralded in art history as the birth of the avant-garde for its rejection of academia, I personally—apart from a huge soft spot for Degas—kinda fucking hate it. It’s great for museums, as it’s the one movement that’s guaranteed to earn loads of admissions from affluent suburbanites who otherwise know approximately dick about art, but all that damned pastel-iness is nauseating. Its historical importance aside, that shit is why we now suffer the infernal art of Thomas Kinkade. When I read the news of this protest, I flashed back to a 20-year-old piece in The Baffler #8 called “Pelf and Powder Blue,” completely torpedoing contemporary reverence for the movement as the basis for a colossal scam:
Monet—and Impressionism generally—is a cultural miracle-worker capable of triggering pious, near-unanimous wonder on a scale Americans rarely encounter anymore. Decades pass, the economy slips, but Impressionism remains the golden genre, the magic formula capable of drawing the sturdy bourgeoisie of our homeland up in reverent mannered lines stretching placidly around the block. In those soft-focus Victorian scenes we catch a glimpse of that prelapsarian time when the rebel yawp of modernism—later to become so menacing and theoretical and satanic—resulted in nothing more threatening than pastel colors and nice renderings of lawn parties.
The appeal of Impressionism is a simple thing, really. More successfully than almost any other cultural offering available in America today, Impressionism brings the two most potent elements of consumerism—safeness and rebellion—together into a commodifiable whole duly certified by almost ridiculously sanguine market approval. This is why it’s the lawn parties and flower gardens of Monet and Renoir that win the public’s plaudits—never the dark Communard tones of Courbet—and why any exposition of their works must always make loud and public declarations of their subversive, radical, even revolutionary, daring.
The magic of impressionism, the secret formula that keeps its prices so eternally high, is that it gets it both ways, enjoying the eternal approbation of both Oldsmobile and art professor alike. On the one hand it is nice art, profoundly appealing to the very people artists strive endlessly to offend. (Relax with the smiling soft-focus ladies of Renoir, always enjoying a vacation at some modest pleasure spot. Luxuriate in the pleasant pastels of Monet, those soft pinks, purples, blues, and turquoises that can be found to match any suburban bathroom.) On the other hand, just as the Red Dog never appears without prudish tamers of some kind for him to defy, one never reads a discussion or sees an exhibit of Impressionism that neglects to mention over and over again the Impressionists’ exalted status as the very first bourgeoisie-shockers, orthodoxy-resisters, and rule-breakers. Their famous rejection by the French Salon is viewed by many as the starting point of modernism, the original cosmic exchange between intolerant patriarchs and rebel bohemians. With Impressionism you can have nice pictures of flowers and fantasies of persecution by an intolerant establishment, all in the same package.
So there’s that. Here are some images from “Renoir Sucks at Painting.” We at DM wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
Oh, Kim Davis, what is it about the simple stand you made about gay marriage that makes you such irresistible fodder for mockery? Was it the four separate times you said “I do” at the altar or your homespun manners, hairdo, and style of dress? Whatevs, you’ve become a quintessential 2015 meme and people are going to run it into the ground, dadgummit.
Example: The Dogfart Network, the self-described “undisputed kings of interracial porn,” has offered Kim Davis half a million dollars to secure “a redemption” by appearing in one of their movies, at the website ZebraGirls.com.
Here’s the press release:
With all the controversy surrounding Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ refusal to issue same sex marriage licenses even after the Supreme Court of the United States made same sex marriage the law of the land, The Dogfart Network which is the leading online destination for Adult Interracial content is offering the Holy Kim Davis a chance at redemption.
The undisputed kings of interracial porn are dangling $500k to star in a scene for their site ZebraGirls.com, which is one of 23 sites in the companies vast Adult Entertainment Empire. ZebraGirls.com specializes in Lesbian Interracial Erotica.
“We here at Dogfart have always believed in equality. We have interracial sites, gay sites, straight sites, and we think Kim Davis has been appalling,” said a Dogfart Spokesman. “We are giving her a chance at a redemption. We are willing to drop half a million bucks for Kim to come out to our studio and shoot an Interracial Lesbian scene for our network.”
The offer will stand for the next week. She is also welcome to bring her family with her on an all expense paid vacation.
Those of you who are inexplicably interested in the overlap of Kim Davis and lesbian sex are probably already aware of the “erotic story” ebook that depicted her first foray into steamy jailhouse sex, but just in case you aren’t, here it is. (Description: “Kim is a simple, small-town woman who finds herself thrown in jail in a dispute over religion and sexuality. She quickly discovers the importance of knowing friend from foe in the notoriously horny women’s wing and, with the help of her beautiful cellmate, sets out to learn the ropes.” Oh my!)