Driving in Ethiopia is some scary shit!
04.22.2014
02:14 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Ethiopia
Traffic


 
No traffic lights in Meskel Square, Ethiopia… not a problem, apparently! It’s amazing how everyone driving is in-sync with the chaos. It’s like its second nature to local drivers. Incredible, but I can’t believe not one car accident occurred during the 2-minute duration of this video.

At first I thought the soundtrack was a cover of “Apple Suckling Tree” from The Basement Tapes, but maybe it’s “Froggy Went A-Courtin’”? Hard to tell.

 
Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess: A rare glimpse of Yello live in concert, 1983
04.22.2014
01:05 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Yello


 
Yello has not often performed live during the group’s five decade existence, but one of their shows (their only show?) was taped for posterity on New Year’s Eve of 1983 at The Roxy, a huge roller disco on 18th Street in Manhattan. Their You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess album had come out that year and solidified their reputation as dancefloor innovators. Founding member Carlos Perón was gone and now the trio was a duo consisting of audio engineer Boris Blank and Swiss millionaire industrialist, poker player, golfer and dada performance artist, Dieter Meier who provided the sleazy, deep throated vocals. Their sound at the time was heavily reliant on the Fairlight synthesizer and apparently it was not easy to reproduce what they did in the studio live, hence the extreme lack of live Yello shows.

The Roxy was the scene of Zulu Nation meetings, MC battles, “Double Dutch” contests and and break dancing competitions. Afrika Bambaataa, Jazzy Jay and Grandmaster Flash DJ’d there. That Yello would stage a rare event at the club says much about the esteem the Swiss weirdos were held in by hip hop’s pioneering artists.

A live EP culled from their Roxy performance was released the following year, while the footage came out later on a short VHS home video. At the very beginning they are introduced by New York’s then “It Girl” buxom fashion designer Dianne Brill.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Groovy time capsule of ‘Swinging Britain,’ 1967
04.22.2014
12:29 pm

Topics:
Art
Fashion
Music

Tags:
Carnaby Street
Mary Quant


 
Another week brings further glories from the vaults of British Pathé. “Swinging Britain,” a finished eight-and-a-half-minute report on the goings-on down at Carnaby Street and elsewhere on the isle, presents the establishment’s benign take on fashion-obsessed youth of the day. The video shows us London (and Manchester and Newcastle, too), features several (apparently) noted figures from the worlds of fashion, art, and music, and generally presents a wow-gee-whiz attitude as to the fervent artistic activities of the Swinging Generation.

Mary Quant can be glimpsed briefly, and you’ll also see a “Happening” staged by one Keith Albarn (you guessed it, father of Damon), DJs Simon Dee and David Symonds, and a groovy young artist named Paul Whitehead who paints his compact automobile swirly colors (three years later, he’d be responsible for the cover art of the album Trespass by Genesis). Dee, of course, is practically synecdoche for Carnaby Street of the era, being the purported inspiration for the shagadelic Austin Powers.
 
Intro Magazine
 
The group serving as the emblem of the new generation are the folks behind the new psychedelia-tinged Intro Magazine, in which “youth talks to youth in its own lingo”; it boasted the talents of well-known fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez. In a loose “narrative,” the news piece basically cuts back and forth between footage of young people at play (whether in a park in the daytime or a “speakeasy” at night) and the industrious young editors of Intro. One of the best things in the video is a brief discussion of “paper dresses.” We see a young woman in a park wearing one with a striking b/w photo of an eye over her midsection. She peels that off and begins to sunbathe in the bikini she had been wearing underneath. When a young fellow tosses her paper dress into the garbage, she shrugs and whips out a different paper dress, only this one has the youthful visage of Bob Dylan on it! Totally priceless.

Speaking of garbage, the voiceover explicitly praises the new generation for being so good about picking up litter, which may remind some viewers of “The Gold Violin,” from the 2nd season of Mad Men, which featured a pointed scene of the middle-class, suburban Drapers heedlessly leaving the remnants of their picnic all over the park in which they had been spending the previous afternoon. Maybe series creator Matt Weiner had a point, there. The whole tone of the documentary is one of indulgent compassion, as one might have for some harmless alien race from another planet.
 
Swinging Britain
 
There is a band identified as the Intro Group (somehow affiliated with the magazine) as well as one called the “117 Group,” and we hear a bit of their music, I think. Those names mean anything to anyone?
 

 
via { feuilleton }

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
LA Confidential: Vintage crime photographs from the LAPD archives
04.22.2014
11:56 am

Topics:
Art
Crime
History

Tags:
Crime
Police
LAPD


Morgue, man with floral tattoo, 1945
 
Back in 2001, photographer Merrick Morton—who also happens to be a reserve LAPD officer—came upon a massive archive of Los Angeles Police Department crime scene and evidence photos which had been hidden for decades in a huge storage facility in downtown LA. The photos were buried among 150 years of police records in cardboard boxes.

When it was discovered that some of the boxes contained decomposing cellulose nitrate negatives, a serious fire hazard, the Fire Department recommended that all the negatives be destroyed. The team lobbied for the archive to be only selectively destroyed and their efforts paid off; some boxes of images were determined to be unsalvageable and destroyed, while the remaining images were sent to a cold storage facility where they reside today.

Around one million photos have been unearthed so far and choice selections, presented by Fototeka, will be exhibited at Paramount Pictures Studios from April 25-27 in Los Angeles.


Detail of two bullet holes in car window, 1942
 

Shoes, arm, and knife, 1950
 

Victim’s feet hanging off bed, 1934
 

Detail of bullet holes in screen, 1930
 

Onion field reenactment, 1963
 

Bank robbery note, 1965
 
Via Feature Shoot

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Psychological torture makes for good TV: Japan’s demented real-life ‘Truman Show’
04.22.2014
10:26 am

Topics:
Television

Tags:
Japanese TV


 
Even for a culture well-known for its sadistic game shows, Japan’s Susunu! Denpa Shōnen (進ぬ!電波少年) still stands out. The producers of this “torture”-themed reality series, which ran from 1998 to 2002, took things so far that the government actually stepped in and cancelled it. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the program remains an iconic part of Japanese television history.

“Denpa Shōnen teki Kenshō Seikatsu” (“a life out of prizes”) was the best known segment of the show. Think of it as the naked, solitary confinement version of Big Brother. In it, Nasubi, an aspiring Japanese comedian—who it should be noted, auditioned for and agreed to this—was forced to live in a studio apartment, unclothed, with no supplies for a year and a half. Nasubi’s genitals were covered with a digital eggplant, a reference to his nickname for his elongated face.

He was provided with a radio, phone, sink, shower, toilet, gas burner, a small table and one cushion. He was also given a rack of magazines and a stack of stamped postcards so that he could enter commercial sweepstakes to get things that he needed. Like food. And toilet paper, which he didn’t win until about ten months in! He had to win anything he used or ate (the crew probably provided him with food, but not much, apparently). Once he’d “won” ¥1 million (about $10,000) in prizes he’d be able to leave his imprisonment and they would edit together a segment about his experience and call it “Sweepstakes Life.”

All he was offered, in exchange, was a chance at fame.

What Nasubi didn’t realize is that segments were going out weekly to a large television audience. At some point, the producers set up a live video feed that meant fans could watch Nasubi 24 hours a day.

When interest in Nasubi became so great that his location was discovered by reporters, the producers more or less kidnapped him and took to him a second location in South Korea! This time he had to raise the money to get back home. While all of this was going on his diaries about his experience of being locked away from the outside world became a bestselling book. Footage of him eating a bowl of ramen noodles was turned into a popular soup commercial. Without knowing any of it, he’d become rich and famous.

Although Nasubi admitted that at certain points he wanted to escape and feared that he was going bonkers, he never really addressed WHY the hell he’d do something like this for so long. I mean, wouldn’t any sane person say “Fuck this” after a couple of weeks without toilet paper?

Ironically Nasubi’s national fame was short-lived, although his segment on the show is fondly recalled.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Rain of Biblical proportions forces ‘Jesus’ to wear an anorak
04.22.2014
09:22 am

Topics:
Belief

Tags:
Jesus


 
Torrential rain poured down Easter Sunday at St. Peter’s Church in Brighton during an open air Passion Play performed by Soul by the Sea. Jesus, his disciples and the rest of the cast were forced to wear raincoats.

According to reports, the performance otherwise “went off without a hitch”!
 
Via Arbroath

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Lost art of the lurid VHS cover
04.22.2014
07:52 am

Topics:
Pop Culture

Tags:
VHS tape

666hihel.jpg
 
VHS Cover Junkie posts hi-res scans taken from his wide collection of gaudy, tacky, yet strangely alluring video covers. These are the kind of VHS tapes once found in the bargain bin of the local Blockbuster in the 1980s, where the lurid covers, slightly frayed or worn, and decorated with reduced-in-price tags, often had little to do with the films’ content.

In this small selection, you will find some curiosities like James Spader in the cheesy Tuff Turf—“where reputations are earned”; The Band’s Robbie Robertson alongside Jodie Foster and Gary Busey in Carny; Ethan Coen’s The Naked Man; Harry Dean Stanton and Sean Young in Young Doctors in Love, and Motel Hell where “it takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent’s fritters.”

Immerse yourself in the gaudy world of VHS Cover Junkie.
 
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More trashy video covers, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Bunny in a g-string promotes ‘bestiality’ animal campaigners claim
04.22.2014
07:39 am

Topics:
Advertising
Animals
Sex

Tags:
rabbits

11gynnub.jpg
 
An advertisement for a Swiss shopping mall has been condemned by an animal rights’ group for promoting bestiality. The Easter poster campaign for the St. Jakob Park shopping mall has a red g-string superimposed on a rabbit. Critics claim the poster sexualizes the animal, which links to bestiality and animal abuse.

Daniel Bader from the Swiss animal protection group told Tages Anzeiger:

“From our point of view, the respect of the rabbit has been badly damaged.

“This is a clear sexualisation of an animal. As far as I’m concerned, it heads in the direction of bestiality and it stinks of promoting animal sex and the sexual abuse of animals.”

I wonder what Herr Bader would make of Brian Griffin, Disneyland, Jessica Rabbit, or those annoying dogs that always hump your leg? Clearly, Fritz the Cat would give him a heart attack,

The manager of the shopping mall told Central European News that the images of attractive women “in bunny ears and fluffy tails were clichéd,” and he wanted to create something more humorous with a real rabbit.

However, according to The Independent, Swiss PR guru Klaus J. Stoehlker said the image was far more damaging to the lingerie company.

“If I was the boss of that Italian lingerie company I would take action over this advertising,” he said.

“I mean, who wants to see their sexy underwear stuck on such a fat rabbit backside?”

No comment…
 
Via The Independent

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
‘Hell Unltd’: Filmmaker Norman McLaren’s powerful anti-capitalism, anti-war animation
04.22.2014
07:27 am

Topics:
Animation
Movies

Tags:
Norman McLaren

nerallcmllehdtlnu.jpg
 
This year marks the centenary of the birth of pioneering filmmaker Norman McLaren, whose multi-award-winning animations inspired generations of filmmakers including Francois Truffaut, George Lucas and Michel Gondry. 

McLaren’s best-known for his work with the National Film Board of Canada, for whom he made his Oscar-winning 1952 short Neighbours, which mixed pixilation, stop-frame animation and live action to create a powerful anti-war message. The film reflected McLaren’s mixed feelings about the Korean War as he had just returned from China where he had been greatly impressed by the way the Communist country was progressing. He found his own experience of Chairman Mao’s China at odds with its representation in the West during the war.

McLaren was born on April 11th, 1914 in Stirling, Scotland. He attended the Glasgow School of Art, where he decided filmmaking rather than painting was the future of art. He started making short animations by painting and scratching directly onto the film. His first experiment proved so successful that the film was worn-out through continual screenings. His next film Seven Till Five (1933) told the story of a day-in-the-life of the art school. The film used various techniques such as montage and editing-in-camera lifted from Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin. McLaren followed this with Camera Makes Whoopee (1935), which covered the celebration of a student party. Again, the film is now best-known for McLaren’s innovative use of camera effects.

In 1936, McLaren collaborated with fellow student, sculptor Helen Biggar on a far more ambitious and political project, an anti-war film called Hell Unltd.. McLaren was a pacifist and, at this time, also a Communist, who believed he could change people’s attitudes through his films. Together with Biggar he created a highly imaginative (if politically simplistic) anti-capitalist take on the cause and effect of war and profiteering from it. The film mixes stop-frame animation with filmed and archival footage, captions and rostrum camera work. It’s a powerful little film and one that showcases many of the talents that made Norman McLaren a dynamic, imaginative and brilliant film-maker.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
The seldom-seen squiggles of Kurt Vonnegut
04.22.2014
07:22 am

Topics:
Art
Books
Literature

Tags:
Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut
“Untitled,” 1985
 
Anyone with any familiarity with Kurt Vonnegut’s literary output probably knows that the man liked to doodle. His whimsical self-portrait, the one that emphasized his mustache, is very familiar, making an appearance in his 1973 masterpiece Breakfast of Champions and many other places. Breakfast of Champions, of course, featured all manner of little drawings as a non-textual means of furthering the story.

Next month a handsome coffee table book, Kurt Vonnegut Drawings, from the Monacelli Press, featuring hitherto unavailable artworks, will go on sale (the list price is $40, but you can pre-order it for $25.40). The book will feature 145 selections of his work.
 
Kurt Vonnegut
 
Vonnegut was a fervent believer in the importance of art as a means of enhancing everyday life, and these interesting drawings are the proof. He used pen and (quite clearly) magic marker for these artworks. They remind me most of all of Joan Miró (esp. the Janus-like piece from 1987) and Saul Steinberg (esp. the one with the wavy hair from the same year).
 
Kurt Vonnegut
“Untitled,” no date
 
Kurt Vonnegut
“Untitled,” no date
 
Kurt Vonnegut
“Untitled,” 1980
 
Kurt Vonnegut
“Self-Portrait,” 1985
 
More of Vonnegut’s amusing art after the jump…..

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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