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  • Lovely and intimate photos of a young Audrey Hepburn long before she was a household name
    08:51 am

    Pop Culture


    It’s always fun to see photographs of your idols before they were famous. Like these images of the eternally beautiful, graceful, and witty actress/humanitarian, Audrey Hepburn. The photographs start in 1942, eleven years before she shot to stardom for her role in Roman Holiday in 1953. Hepburn was the first actress to receive an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for her performance in that film.

    The majority of these images are from Hepburn’s days when she studied ballet in Amsterdam and later in London. By the late 1940s, she performed as a chorus girl in West End musical theatre productions and did some stage acting in London.

    Fun fact about Audrey Hepburn that I didn’t know: She was fluent in English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, and German. Impressive.



    November 27, 1942


    More after the jump…

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Are you cucumber or a carrot? Wrap your meat in fruit and veg for the optimum fitting condom!
    08:43 am



    In a triumph of design, Guan-Hao Pan, a student at the National Taipei University of Technology has created this adorable (and functional!) condom series using fruits and vegetables for sizing models. Love Guide Condoms gives you five options, from biggest to smallest you have cucumber, carrot, banana, turnip and zucchini. Obviously fruits and vegetables aren’t standardized, but it’s not a bad system to measure your meat. The nutritious theme of these rubbers is based off the Chinese proverb, “hunger and lust are only natural,” and yes they’re as “green” (yuk yuk) as possible, with biodegradable packaging, as opposed to the non-biodegradable foil that’s used most commonly.

    The array of sizes is intended to help men choose a correctly-fitted condom, as incorrect sizing can actually result in breakage or slippage (no word on how you will prevent men from vanity sizing). Also, the condoms are placed over a tiny nub in the package, so that the user will be less likely to put it on inside out (big no-no, can also cause breakage), and so that removing them requires the pinching on the reservoir tip (something you should always do)!


    More after the jump…

    Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
    Bring me the head of Bob Dylan: Creative and cool looking die cut records
    08:24 am



    Bob Dylan Baby Stop Crying die cut record
    Bob Dylan “Baby Stop Crying” die cut 7” record
    Artist Daniel Tolhurst has found yet another creative way to make art out of vinyl - by cutting 7” records in various shapes that best correlate with the musicians who made them or the song on the single. So as the title of this post implies, you can now own a Bob Dylan record that has been shaped to resemble his actual head (pictured above), or a Beastie Boys 7” that has been cut in the likeness of Mike D’s giant VW medallion (pictured below).
    Beastie Boys Fight for Your Right die cut record
    Beastie Boys “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)” die cut 7” record
    Tolhurst, who is based in the UK, started making his groovy and sometimes amusing record designs in 2013 from vintage singles, so each piece shows a bit of wear from its previous life as an actual record. And much like the DJ’s yore, he also takes requests for custom orders. Prices start at $79 and up based on the design you select. Loads of images from Tolhurst’s store, follow.
    Led Zeppelin Communication Breakdown die cut record
    Led Zeppelin, “Communication Breakdown”
    The Rolling Stones Brown Sugar die cut record
    The Rolling Stones, “Brown Sugar”
    Buddy Holly Words of Love die cut record
    Buddy Holly, “Words of Love”
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Julian Cope interviewed by a computer on ‘Star Test,’ 1989
    06:22 am



    The title suggests a contest like Star Search, but the UK’s Channel 4 series Star Test was an interview show with a gimmick: a bleeping and whirring computer host. The guest sat alone in a big, white, reverb-y room with stained glass windows and potted plants (a budget version of the room at the end of 2001? a sanitized Cathode Ray Mission from Videodrome?), choosing categories from a touchscreen menu and fielding questions that were more often insipid (“When did you last cut your toenails?”) than inspired. Wendy James of Transvision Vamp, Bernard Sumner of New Order, and Peter Gabriel all sat in this sterile technochapel and took part in its weird ritual.

    YouTube user Tony Payne uploaded the Julian Cope episode of Star Test last week. Aired on June 13, 1989, it picks up right where Cope’s autobiography Head-On left off, with Ian McCulloch refuting a fortune-teller’s prediction by living through his 30th birthday that May.

    Cope was then between his late-80s pop confections, Saint Julian and My Nation Underground, and his unpolished early-90s deep skull dives, Skellington and Droolian, which prepared the way for the prophetic Peggy Suicide trilogy. Unhurried, slightly bored, and whip-smart, he dispatches some questions with a few syllables—Hell is “a loop tape of U2,” the person with the most power over him is “me”—and uses others to propel himself to sublime heights most other musicians don’t even know are there:

    What’s the best reason for being alive?

    Um… just ‘cause it’s such a break, you know? I just think this is the best break that anybody could give anybody, and I kind of, I feel that with all the people who are in such a bad place, a bad position in the world, you know, that I’ve got to be good at being what I am, ‘cause it’s like—as an analogy, say life is like a play or something. I’m standing at the front, somebody’s given me a really good ticket, so it’s my duty to enjoy the play I’m in, because it’s rude of me not to, ‘cause there’s all these people starving around the world. They’re the people who’ve got a really, really bad break, and they’re standing at the back, and they’re all smaller than everybody else, and they can’t see over, so they never even get to see what life is, they never even got to see the start, you know?

    People just say, “Work, and you’ve got a chance.” That’s complete garbage; it’s just rudeness. There’s so much rudeness. So much rudeness in our society, as well, which really kind of gets to me. Some people, they just physically can’t get it together, they can’t mentally get it together, you know? I’ll apologize for them if it makes, kind of, people in power feel any better. Sometimes you can’t get out of your room. Sometimes the world just completely bewilders you and does your head in, you know? And going out is the same as being dragged and knocked senseless by a bunch of muggers, and that’s just sometimes they way it is.


    How do you react to criticism?

    I really like a good slag-off, ‘cause a good slag-off can really kinda like erupt you inside. And you can be full of crap a lot of the time; you need to have somebody kickin’ around inside you. If there’s no friction in what you do, then there’s no way that you’re gonna get on, you know? The best way to make great art is to have it trivialized by other people as much as possible—that way, you fight, and fight, and fight.


    What is your most wicked fantasy?

    My most wicked fantasy? An evil fantasy? Well, if it’s a fantasy, maybe my most evil fantasy is that the white race doesn’t actually belong here, and was put here to mess everybody up, and everything that I do as like a total kind of WASP that I am is gonna destroy the rest of the world with its half-assed evangelical calling. But I don’t even know if that’s a fantasy, see, ‘cause I kind of believe that.

    You see, the Drude is dispensing the psychedelic wisdom you need for your life, in a convenient 25-minute TV dose. (The show is half as long as it appears to be—like the Circle Jerks’ Group Sex cassette, it plays through twice in a row.)

    Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
    The MTV music video that’s still giving people nightmares over 30 years later
    06:19 am

    One-hit wonders


    This post is brought to you by an actual nightmare I had last night.

    I’ve been a life-long fan of horror films, indeed my favorite cinematic genre, but rarely, if ever, do they actually scare me. As much as I enjoy fright flicks, they don’t haunt me. I often think its weird when people say that they have nightmares about Jason or Freddy or Michael Myers. To me those guys are famous larger-than-life characters who don’t really relate to the truly frightening things we experience or think about experiencing in real life.

    I believe many of our deepest fears are things that were filed away as children. I think this is, perhaps, why Stephen King is such a successful author: he understands that the images that frighten us as kids (like, say, clowns) hold the most power in frightening us as adults. It may have something to do with the way the brain processes and files information, storing it deep down in the folds before the frontal lobe has a chance to fully develop in our mid twenties.

    So, while horror villains don’t really haunt my nightmares, there are definitely certain images that do. Case in point, the images I had the misfortune of dreaming about last night. They come from what is perhaps the most frightening music video ever made (or at least it was the most frightening one I had the displeasure of viewing as a kid and having my brain irreparably damaged by.)

    Remember ‘80s one-hit-wonder, Kim “Bette Davis Eyes” Carnes? She had an almost-second-hit which went to number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart titled “Draw Of The Cards.” The video for this song is a fucking nightmare, and I’m not the only person who thinks so.

    The video for “Draw of the Cards” was directed by famed ‘80s music-clip director Russell Mulcahy of MGMM productions. We talked about MGMM here at Dangerous Minds recently in our article about the middle-aged bald guy that appeared in a ridiculous amount of ‘80s music videos. Incidentally, a thorough scanning of “Draw of the Cards” failed to turn up a spotting of the infamous middle-aged bald guy. But that’s not important right now.

    What is important is this ghastly dreamscape that Mulcahy has created for a song which was inexplicably released as a single. I say “inexplicably” because the song is devoid of hooks, it’s slow—but not a ballad (or sexy), the bass and synth lines are creepy, and Carnes performance sounds like a failed Rod Stewart attempt at slam poetry. It’s not necessarily that it’s bad (it is), it’s just a bizarre choice for a single release. The only song I can think of that was ever a “hit” with a similar creepy/brooding vibe was Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” and I’ve always been sort of baffled how that one ever became a hit, let alone a classic rock staple—but, hey, it was the ‘80s and things were kind of weird. Speaking of weird, THIS VIDEO.

    In the opening post-apocalyptic scene, Carnes is surrounded by interpretive dancers in Carnival and harlequin garb, giving the proceedings a bit of a voodoo feel, which is a fine visual representation of what’s happening with the bass and bongo rhythm section of the song.

    The action then moves to a location that appears to be a ballroom which might be described as “Buckminster Fuller through a Dr Caligari lens.” In this dreamscape, gravity is selective, and various denizens inexplicably float up into the air—which is rather off-putting. People begin to do zombie-like spastic dances as a witch doctress tarot-reader looks on. In the video’s defense, I will say that few pieces of film (Eraserhead comes to mind) so successfully capture the mis-en-scene and bizarro-logic of the dreamstate (though, thankfully my own dreams are relatively devoid of modern interpretive dance).

    Things take a turn for the worst when Carnes goes through a looking glass and comes out the other side in a freaky back-alley, populated by herky-jerky dancers with contorted faces, some of whom are randomly ON FIRE.


    In this ghoulish hellscape, gravity does not apply to saxophone players.

    After the jump, the mutant-populated back-alley scene!

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
    Andy Warhol, children’s book illustrator
    10:12 am



    It’s well known that before Andy Warhol became the most famous artist in New York—if not the world—he worked for several years as a commercial illustrator. For instance, he did a bunch of album covers in the mid- to late 1950s, a couple of which are quite familiar to anyone who follows jazz—even if they’re not familiar “as Warhol covers.”

    Another of his gigs lasted about four years, that being occasional illustrations for children’s stories in the “Best In Children’s Books” series published by Nelson Doubleday. He illustrated six stories between 1957 and 1960—since there were 33 volumes in the series at a minimum, we can be sure that the series was pretty popular. Every volume had roughly ten stories in it, and each story featured art by a different illustrator. So Warhol’s output in this series was a tiny fraction of the art contained therein. One of the other artists who did illustrations in the same series was Richard Scarry.

    The cover of vol. 27 (art not by Warhol)
    It’s so funny to think of the mind behind “Race Riot” (1963), “Orange Car Crash Fourteen Times” (1963), and “Sixteen Jackies” (1964) also illustrating “Card Games Are Fun,” “Magic Porridge Pot,” and “Funny Words and Riddles” just a few years earlier. (Actually, here’s a good book focusing on Warhol’s violent works from the 1962-1964 period.)

    There are plenty of pictures of these drawings on the Internet, but alas, many of them come from Etsy and eBay listings, so the images aren’t always so great.

    In 1983 Warhol actually did put out a children’s book of his own that was more in keeping with his well-known style, but that’s another subject.
    “Funny Words and Riddles” by Alice Salaff, vol. 5 (1957):

    “Homemade Orchestra” by Joseph Leeming, vol. 7 (1958):


    Many more Warhol illustrations after the jump…..

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    ‘Decline of Western Civilization’ director Penelope Spheeris: ‘I sold out, let’s face it’
    08:45 am



    In a wonderfully frank interview with Irish broadcaster Tom Dunne, flimmaker Penelope Spheeris, whose triumphant Decline Of Western Civilization documentary trilogy was FINALLY released on DVD this year after decades spent as a prohibitively costly VHS rarity, spoke edifyingly about the schizoid nature of her career, and its trajectory from documentaries about low-life music scenes to Wayne’s World:

    I can’t regret doing a goofy movie about heavy metal - and I have to admit it is - but for the most part I have to thank the Lord that I was actually able to make a living after that. I was 45 years old and I was borrowing money from my sister trying to pay the rent. Then I got Wayne’s World and I was a millionaire overnight.

    It was totally dramatic. I didn’t know how to handle it. I was some white chick from a trailer park and I was like uh I don’t know what to do with all this money, I still don’t ‘cause in my brain I’m still poor.

    I didn’t want to do them, but they started offering me more and more money. They don’t do that now. They get some kid s out of school and pay them nothing. But they were offering me all this money to do The Beverly Hillbillies and The Little Rascals and I thought if I can’t do what I want to do, I might as well make some money. So I did. I sold out. Let’s face it.

    It irks me pretty much bottomlessly anymore to see an artist have to be self-deprecating about taking a good gig—is there any other way to sell besides “out?” That tedious ‘90s bullshit Fugzai conversation about remaining indie at all costs seems to have cost a fair few great bands potential paydays, and frankly, I think the hip-hop GET PAID AT ALL COSTS ethos reflects the reality of the artist much more accurately than the whole commie puritan Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll it’s-unethical-to-make-money-from-your-art trip. Look at Steven Soderbergh—with the fat cash he made from the Ocean’s series of high-budget caper flicks, he has the time, resources, and flexibility to make interesting and provocative work like The Girlfriend Experience and The Knick. Spheeris used her fame to complete her punk doc trilogy, and since nobody actually put a gun to my head and made me watch The Little Rascals, why should I care that someone who made work I respect got a payday for something to which I’m indifferent? Money doesn’t get thrown at an artist every day, and if you’re not hurting anybody, I say when it comes, TAKE IT.

    The NewsTalk interview, and more, after the jump…

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    Dangerous Finds: A peek inside Mr. Robot’s toolkit; Weaponized drones for cops; Republicans like pot
    07:34 am

    Current Events


    A peek inside Mr. Robot‘s Toolbox: The USA show concludes its powerful first season tonight. UPDATE: Mr. Robot‘s season finale will NOT air tonight after all, according to a statement of the show’s Facebook page: “The previously filmed season finale of Mr. Robot contains a graphic scene similar in nature to today’s tragic events in Virginia. Out of respect to the victims, their families and colleagues, and our viewers, we are postponing tonight’s episode. Our thoughts go out to all those affected during this difficult time.” The finale will air on Wednesday September 2. (Wired)

    ‘Dictator’ Jim Bob Duggar teaches his sons to repress their lust using THIS weird code word. This family is fucking nuts. (The Raw Story)

    It’s not just Trump: Latinos should boycott the Republican party en masse: Donald Trump’s treatment of Univision’s Jorge Ramos is just the latest reason why Latino voters should unite to bring the party to its knees. (The Guardian)

    GOP voters strongly favor marijuana reform, poll finds: See, Republicans are just like everybody else. Just stupider. (The Hill)

    Schizophrenics have different throat bacteria: This could be helpful for new treatments, faster diagnoses, and figuring out what causes the disease in the first place. (PopSci)

    The incredible animatronic sculptures of Thomas Kuntz: Fantastic animatronic mechanisms that recreate scenes from the best nightmares you’ve ever had. (bOING bOING)

    Kansas seeks to block release of voting machine paper tapes: The top election official in Kansas has asked a Sedgwick County judge to block the release of voting machine tapes sought by a Wichita mathematician who is researching statistical anomalies favoring Republicans in counts coming from large precincts in the November 2014 general election. I wonder why? (KSN)

    Why Fox News’ Defense Of Megyn Kelly Is Going To Backfire: Their viewers tend to be old, male and misogynist? (Talking Points Memo)

    Slenderman Stabbing: If 12-year-olds Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser knew that the Internet character they worshipped was a fantasy, why did they want to kill their friend for him? Fascinatingly strange article, a “must read.”(New York)

    Why so many Christians blame pornography for other sins like adultery: Because of Jesus? Kirk Cameron? It’s a super convenient excuse? (Vox)

    North Dakota First State to Legalize Armed Drones for Cops: Free to fire tasers, tear gas from air. What could possibly go wrong? (The Daily Beast)

    Bobby Jindal: No, I’m Not An ‘Anchor Baby’: Just a fucking idiot. (Talking Points Memo)

    “Fadeout Killer” video from the latest release from Slim Twig, Thank You for Stickin’ with Twig, one of my very favorite albums of 2015 so far. In the top two. This guy is the real deal:

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    Listen to the great ‘lost’ psych-folk of Scott Fagan
    06:57 am



    The great obscure-but-influential figures of the rock era are pretty much the lifeblood of Dangerous Minds’ music coverage, but this one tilts way more towards the obscure than the influential. Scott Fagan is one of those amazing, unjustly lost figures in rock history—a man who made brilliant work that unaccountably disappeared, though it had every chance at widespread attention. He doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page.

    Born to a New York saxophonist father and dancer mother in 1945, Fagan was raised by his mother in an arts colony in St. Thomas, and he often made for the mainland to join his father on tour. In the mid ‘60s he began gigging with rock bands, and on a trip to New York, Fagan landed a successful audition with the legendary songwriter Doc Pomus, with whom he’d write “I’m Gonna Cry Til My Tears Run Dry,” which would be performed by Linda Ronstadt, among others. Within a month, Fagan was signed to Columbia Records and writing with another legendary credit, Burt Burns. That didn’t last, but he’d soon enough be courted by Apple Records as their first non-Beatle artist (didn’t happen, obviously), and he’d end up with the Atlantic subsidiary ATCO, who in 1968 released his legendary lost solo debut, South Atlantic Blues.

    South Atlantic Blues was an eccentric, genre jumping pop/psych/folk masterpiece that, much like Skip Spence’s now-revered Oar, sank like a cinderblock. It wound up being one of those albums that was basically worshiped by everyone who’d heard it, but “everyone who’d heard it” wasn’t a big enough number to register anywhere. Who knows why, and it’s not like that doesn’t happen ALL THE TIME; the dollar bins of the world still harbor undiscovered gems. But given Fagan’s connections to Pomus, Burns, and FREAKIN’ BEATLES, why this of all albums died is baffling. Not that an album this idiosyncratic was ever going to make a huge rock star out of anyone, but Fagan barely even has a cult. It compares more than favorably to Donovan or any of the genre’s other well-known touchstones, and Fagan’s distinctive singing voice lived in an unexpected intersection of Scott Walker and David Bowie. The LP did get a second chance at life—not as a musical release, but as an objet d’art. In 1969, the very, very famous pop artist Jasper Johns made a series of ink drawings and lithographs titled “Scott Fagan Record” which depicted side one of South Atlantic Blues. This incredible honor came too late to save the record from deletion—in fact, Johns found his copy in a cut-out bin. As the print is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA, a drawing of the album has become easier to engage with as an artwork than the album itself.


    Fagan’s life post-SAB remains fascinating. He penned a rock musical called Soon which was staged on Broadway in 1971. Despite an excellent critical reception and performances by Richard Gere, Barry Bostwick, Nell Carter, and Peter Allen, it closed after three performances, and its scathingly brutal portrayal of the music industry made a pariah of Fagan for a few years—his second LP wouldn’t come out until 1975, but Many Sunny Places (featuring two tracks from Soon) wouldn’t fare much better than his debut. The best description I’ve found of Soon was printed in a Shindig article:

    …an ill-fated satirical Broadway rock musical, Soon, co-written with friend Joe Kookoolis and based on their grim experiences in The Biz, with all its hypocrisy and evil money-making machinations. The original cast featured Scott himself in the lead, and also a young Richard Gere, and rave reviews ensued, though various pressures then conspired and the play closed—or was closed—shortly after its launch. Little of the music was ever recorded (though, bizarrely, a muzak version of the title song ended up serenading Scott one night as his did his late-night supermarket shop!), and Kookoolis was so broken by the experience he never wrote again and died in Santa Monica in ‘78! Various fragments and live recordings of the show exist and what Fagan describes as its “90-minute long song story, intricately woven and lovingly constructed” may yet still see the light of day in some shape or form this side of never.


    Another potential road out of obscurity came in 2000, when it was revealed that Fagan was the father of that near deity of super-literate depresso-rock, Magnetic Fields/Gothic Archies/Future Bible Heroes honcho Stephin Merritt. The two never met until 2013, and Fagan planned an LP of covers of his son’s songs, a project which was apparently kiboshed when its Kickstarter campaign fell painfully short, despite a contribution from Jasper Johns.

    Fagan still lives and performs in the Virgin Islands, and after very nearly five decades, South Atlantic Blues is finally seeing its first ever reissue in November. The vinyl will be issued in a hand-numbered edition with a reproduction of the Johns litho as cover art, and the CD will include with extensive notes, photos, and a bonus disc of demos and singles. The issuing label, Saint Cecilia Knows, was kind enough to allow DM to share with you the remastered lead-off track, “In My Head.”

    A clip, shot for Famous in NY, of Fagan discussing Soon awaits you, after the jump…

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    Check out David Cronenberg’s 1967 anti-war comedy-horror student film, ‘From the Drain’
    06:41 am



    It’s difficult to imagine a David Cronenberg film without the surreal violence and body horror, but this 1967 student film is unmistakably his work, even at just 14 minutes and a meager $500 budget. The lack of exposition leaves the exact nature of the characters’ motivation and plot rather vague, but there is a distinctly anti-war vibe, and an unexpected dark humor to the intense subject and ominous setting.

    Two men sit and talk in a bathtub, totally clothed—both are presumed to be veterans of an unnamed war. One man is under the impression that they’re in the “Disabled War Veterans’ Recreation Center,” but the facility is clearly a mental institution. In true Cronenbergian resolution, a vine creeps up through the tub drain and strangles one of the men, while the other watches completely unaffected. Like I said, barrel-a-laughs!

    Part 2 after the jump…

    Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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