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  • Literal heavy metal: Brass band plays Motörhead, Maiden, Sabbath, and AC/DC
    08:13 am



    Over the weekend, my Facebook feed—and a fair few others’ as well—blew up with a years-old video of a Dutch brass band called Heavy Hoempa busking Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades” at the prog/metal festival ProgPower in 2013. Despite its age, the video went viral seemingly out of nowhere, racking up 50,000 shares in just a few days. If you weren’t one of its three million viewers, check it out now, it’s quite wonderful.


    Thing is, that’s just a small taste of their offerings. The Uden-based Heavy Hoempa, which I’m pretty sure means “heavy busker,” specialize in metal covers; per Google translate, their self-description on Twitter is “Solid rock with a big wink from blazers with balls.” The band still exists, purveying quite wonderful versions of metal classics including “Paranoid,” “The Trooper,” and “Highway to Hell.”

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    There’s a 2017 Dragon Sex Calendar
    08:06 am



    This is one of those inexplicable things that actually exists! Why on earth anyone would want a 2017 Dragon Sex Calendar is beyond me, but apparently there must be a market for it. I mean, why else would they would mass produce these calendars if there wasn’t, right? That would be really silly!

    I’m assuming this was made for shits and giggles. Or is this some kind of dragon sex fetish that I’m not aware of? Or perhaps a lil’ T-Rex on T-Rex action? Bang a gong, get it on: If you can think of it, surely there’s a porn for it.

    Thirteen artists from around the world have breathed life into this year’s calendar by designing their own unique and fantastic visions of Dragon Sex. Our artists have been featured in museums, on the covers of DC comics, and have even illustrated the covers of major sci-fi and fantasy novels.

    The 2017 Dragon Sex Calendar can be yours for $25 here.

    I’ll stick with my yearly Goats in Trees wall calendar, thank you very much.

    Click on any image to enlarge it.


    More after the jump…

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    There’s a park in Queens with Christopher Walken heads everywhere
    02:41 pm



    Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, New York is currently showcasing an art installation of concrete Christopher Walken heads called “Monument to Walken.” The Walken busts are by artist Bryan Zanisnik.

    How long are they going to be on display? I don’t know. But here’s a map you can download of Socrates Park so you can locate all the Walken heads.

    I can’t think of a more fitting tribute. I’m going to try, though.

    via Time Out

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Amazing (or goofy?) ‘Twin Peaks’-themed fashion spread from the pages of Sassy magazine, 1990
    12:39 pm



    The debut of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s groundbreaking ABC series Twin Peaks occurred on the night of April 8, 1990. And for a solid year media-savvy people were capable of talking about little else. As a proof, witness this remarkable and unintentionally hilarious fashion spread that appeared in the October 1990 issue of Sassy.

    Lynch and Frost were able to deliver their surrealist mindfuckery to an audience of millions by peppering their Pacific Northwest landscape with young hotties of both genders (Mädchen Amick, Sheryl Lee, Dana Ashbrook, Lara Flynn Boyle, James Marshall, Sherilyn Fenn) and a good old-fashioned dose of whodunnit. You can swallow a lot of WTF? when attractive people are caught up in a murder plot.

    The Sassy spread was titled “Anytown, U.S.A.” and perhaps it demonstrates that the distinctively alluring tone of the series wasn’t all that easy to reproduce. Here’s your tryin’-too-hard intro text:

    ON the surface, the quaint rural BLISS of dirt roads, diners AND sawmills. But underneath the age-old Douglas firs lurk mysteries EVEN the sheriff doesn’t know about. COULD be your town. Could be YOU. So dress the part in clothes that are INNOCENT and sexy, naive and SOPHISTICATED — a look that’s MEANT to intrigue.

    THEN WAIT for the FBI.

    Obviously the log lady pic gets the biggest LULZ here. As widely reported, the series returns on Showtime in 2017 with a cast of dozens.


    More of these great pics as well as a fashion spread with the real Twin Peaks actors…...

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Meet Harper Goff, the legendary set designer behind Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory
    11:02 am



    “This is where all my dreams become realities, and some of my realities become dreams.” American artist and banjo player Harper Goff (1911-1993) was a man of many talents with an extraordinary imagination. He set the standard for camouflage colors during WWII, laid the foundation for the Steampunk revolution, conceptualized Disneyland alongside Walt Disney, and created the unforgettable set for Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. However, due to issues with his union card Harper remains uncredited for nearly his entire life’s work.

    Living in New York City, Harper Goff worked as a magazine illustrator for Collier’s, Esquire, and National Geographic. Harper’s techniques as well his imagination were groundbreaking even early on. In his paintings, he often refused to use modeling talent but instead incorporated real life village citizens into the details of his colorful works. Friends, family, and neighbors traveled to exotic beachfront estates and vacation spots around the world courtesy of Harper Goff, half of them never even realizing it. During his service in WWII while Harper was working on a do-it-yourself painters kit he was approached by the U.S. Army to develop a set of paint colors that would become the new standard for camouflage. Near the end of the war, he was transferred to the U.S. Navy where his razzle dazzle technique helped confuse the silhouettes of ships taking the idea of camouflage to a whole new level.

    When Harper moved to California to work for Warner Brothers Studios he became a set designer on films such as Casablanca, Sergeant York, Charge of the Light Brigade, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the Errol Flynn classic Captain Blood. It was while working as an Art Director on Kirk Douglas’ The Vikings that director William Wyler saw in Goff a “character type” and began casting him as an actor. “I showed up wearing a beard, they figured I’d make a good Nordic,” said Harper, who would end up heaving a battle axe at his blonde viking wife in the film. Harper made dozens of appearances in film and television as an actor much to the amusement of his real life blonde wife Flossie. In 1951, while shopping in a London model railroad shoppe Harper had a chance encounter with Walt Disney when they both expressed a mutual interest in purchasing the same model train.

    “He turned to me and said, ‘I’m Walt Disney. Are you the man that wanted to buy this engine?’ Well, I almost fell over. He asked me what I do for a living, and I told him that I was an artist. Walt said, ‘I’ve heard of you, but I can’t recall where.’” It turned out Walt Disney had seen some of Harper’s illustrations in Esquire magazine and had always admired them. Disney said, “Give me a call me when you get back to the States.” Ultimately Walt bought the locomotive and hired Harper to illustrate the earliest concept artwork and renderings for his proposed “Mickey Mouse Park” (originally intended to be constructed in Burbank). “I liked the idea of working with Walt Disney, and when I called him he began to explain his idea for a kiddie-land near the Studio — perhaps with a steam train connected to Traveland across the L.A. River. He wanted to build something adults could enjoy along with their children.”

    Walt sent Harper on a three-month “information gathering” journey to amusement parks all across the United States. “They were dirty places and it was hard to imagine what Walt had in mind creating. I said to him when I got back, ‘Walt, I don’t think this type of environment is what you want,’ and he replied, ‘Mine will be immaculate and the staff will be young and polite,’ then I realized he could do it.” Orange County was eventually chosen as the site for Disneyland and Harper, who was dubbed the “Second Imagineer” envisioned the look and feel of the theme park. Harper used his hometown of Fort Collins, Colorado as the main influence for Disneyland’s City Hall, and his Art Director experience on the film Calamity Jane to design the Golden Horseshoe Saloon.

    Harper Goff’s influence on the Adventureland portion of the theme park cannot be overstated, particularly on the ride the Jungle Cruise. In Harper’s own words: “We began to think of hippos and other animals which could be operated without wires and still have animated elements. We brought in Bob Matte, who later created the shark for Jaws to engineer the original animals. I also worked with Bill and Jack Evans on buying expeditions for the landscaping. We would call cities to see if they were tearing out trees for improvements and go and buy them — we got many that way.” While making trips back and forth between Burbank and the Evans and Reeves Nursery in West L.A. they’d pass a house in Beverly Hills that had spectacular tree in the front yard. Harper and Jack believed it’d be the perfect finishing touch to the Jungle Cruise ride. “Finally, I thought what have we got to lose, and I had Jack Evans stop while I went in to ask the people if they would consider selling it. I told the owner we would replace it with a flowerbed or anything they wanted and surprisingly enough the owner told me yes — it was blocking the sunlight and view coming through his windows and we could just come and take it away… it was the tree that went around the original Burmese Temple, and we got it for nothing.”
    Continues after the jump…

    Posted by Doug Jones | Leave a comment
    Kick out the jams: Blue Öyster Cult covers the MC5, Doors, Yardbirds & The Animals
    10:33 am



    More guitars than most rock bands had back in 1970, the mighty Blue Öyster Cult.
    Like the young Patti Smith, I am a huge fan of one of the greatest bands ever to slither out of Long Island, the Blue Öyster Cult. Since getting their start in the late 60s, BÖC has put out over 20 albums including three live records on which the band test drives tracks from the MC5, The Yardbirds, The Animals and the sleazy, acid-coated jam by The Doors “Roadhouse Blues” with Robby Krieger on guitar. Damn.

    So full disclosure—I had never heard BÖC’s version of the adrenalin charged 1969 MC5 track “Kick out the Jams” before. Recorded in Atlanta’s historic Fox Theater in 1978, its a very strange oversight that I can’t really comprehend as not only is the MC5 rocker one of my go-to songs when I’m running but so are other covers of the track by Bellingham, Washington band Mono Men and Monster Magnet. So the fact that my rock-seeking radar somehow missed this gem from BÖC’s 1978 live album Some Enchanted Evening (which also features the band’s cover of 1965’s “We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place” by The Animals) is really beyond me.

    The rest of the covers appear on On Your Feet Or On Your Knees (“I Ain’t Got You” by The Yardbirds and “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf), and Extraterrestrial Live on which BÖC’s cover of “Roadhouse Blues” appears—and the story of how that came to be goes like this. According to vocalist Eric Bloom, BÖC was playing a gig at the Starwood in LA when Krieger showed up and asked to “sit in” with the band. But instead of having Krieger play along to one of their own tunes, BÖC ran with The Doors 1970 classic.

    More Blue Öyster Cult after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Stunning Erotic Tattoos
    10:31 am



    I don’t have any tattoos but if ever I do consider getting one then I certainly could be tempted by these beautiful erotic tattoos by Bordeaux-based tattoo artist Sad Amish.

    Unlike the more traditional ship’s anchors, bluebirds, Celtic doodles or Pictish script Sad Amish’s stunning monochrome tattoos are high quality graphic art with a wonderfully charged eroticism.

    The tattoos feature women artfully posed in bondage gear, fetish wear or playfully fondling a bong while enjoying a mouthful of vin blanc. All beautifully rendered in the deepest blackest ink.

    More of Sad Amish’s work can be viewed here.
    More of Sad Amish’s fab monochrome skin art, after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    Evil little F*ckers: Hilarious spoof covers for ‘Bad Little Children’s Books’
    09:32 am

    Pop Culture


    This is something every home should have Bad Little Children’s Books—-a hilarious anthology of 120 fake kids’ book covers features such devilish titles as Polly Paints a Penis, Don’t Lick the Stripper Pole, Even Girls Fart, Rockets and Missiles of the Islamic State and Uncle Creepy. Those of a certain age may recognize the original source material for these parodies which come from more innocent times—I certainly owned a few of ‘em when I was a tot.

    The covers are credited to the fictional artist Arthur C. Gackley who was supposedly born in 1923 and was “the creator of many children’s books, none of which were ever actually published.”

    Mysterious and hermetic by nature, he spent his life living and working in a small New England village, but was likely washed out to sea or fell penniless into an abandoned wishing well shaft in the winter of 1978. No body was ever found, but unfortunately his book parodies were.

    You can order your copy of Bad Little Children’s Books here and follow the life of evil genius Arthur C. Gackley on Facebook.
    More of Arthur C. Gackley’s hilarious book covers, after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    Iron Butterfly and Grand Funk Railroad shot a double feature in a pirate-themed amusement park
    09:26 am



    Many treasures from Something Weird Video recently turned up on Night Flight Plus ($2.99 cheap!). Among them is Musical Mutiny, a 1970 feature directed by former RAF pilot and Nazi prison camp escapee Barry Mahon, who got into the movie business by taking a job as Errol Flynn’s personal pilot after the war. Mahon’s 1969 film Fanny Hill Meets Dr. Erotico can claim the single greatest plot summary on IMDb:

    Dr. Erotico, a reputable urologist, becomes a hard core sex maniac.

    Musical Mutiny was filmed for like zero dollars at Pirates World in Dania, Florida, Mahon’s headquarters during the late 60s. An enterprising fellow, he shot the bands he booked to play at the theme park and then created movies around the footage. Iron Butterfly’s performances in Musical Mutiny were padded with an original plot involving a pirate who comes out of the ocean so that the youth may rock (or something). Mahon released it as a double feature with Weekend Rebellion, a movie he created by splicing his footage of Grand Funk Railroad and others playing at Pirates World into a print of Mondo Daytona.

    If it sounds like these pictures are astonishingly cheap, it looks that way too. By comparison, the comic segments in Good to See You, Alice Cooper are Lawrence of Arabia. The Something Weird catalog quotes the director to the effect that he didn’t get where he was by paying top dollar:

    “l took over the studio at Pirates World, a bit north of Miami, and made Jack and the Beanstalk and Thumbelina and a bunch of pictures like that” remembered Mahon in 1994. “Pirates World’s biggest claim to fame was the rock concerts we held there. I hired Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five for $10,000! And Grand Funk Railroad and Iron Butterfly. Got all those for around ten thousand bucks. And we made a lot of money doing that.”

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
    Demo versions of Black Sabbath songs that completely smoke the album versions
    09:10 am



    Though it is often maligned by Black Sabbath fans as being “one of their worst albums,” I’ve always had a soft spot for the Born Again LP. Featuring Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan on vocals, many referred to this line-up as “Deep Sabbath.” Gillan, a rock super-star in his own right, was obviously no slouch, but Ozzy and Ronnie James Dio both left big shoes to fill in the Sabbath camp. Many fans at the time expressed great disappointment over the album recorded with this line-up.

    It may have been hearing “Trashed” on a K-Tel compilation as a kid that warmed me to this era of Sabbath and that song in particular, but I’ll readily admit that the production on Born Again always left something to be desired. It always sounded a bit hollow to me and a bit cheesed out with the keyboards.

    Fans have always been divided on the album’s iconic cover art as well. Some decrying it as one of the worst album covers of all time or at least, certainly, the worst Black Sabbath album cover, while others have found it to be a repellant work of genius. I’ve always adored the demonic baby image and its disturbingly vibrating blue and red color scheme. One of my favorite hardcore bands of the 1990s stole their logo directly from the hand-lettered “Born Again” font on the sleeve.

    The story of this sleeve almost deserves its own post, but it’s totally worth reprinting here, direct from designer Steve Joule’s mouth, speaking to

    The Black Sabbath Born Again album sleeve was designed under extraordinary circumstances; basically what had happened was that Sharon and Ozzy had split very acrimoniously from her father’s (Don Arden) management and record label. He subsequently decided that he would wreak his revenge by making Black Sabbath (whom he managed) the best heavy metal band in the world, which, of course they are but back then in the early ’80’s they weren’t quite the international megastars that they had been in the ’70’s. His plans included recruiting Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan, getting Bill Ward back in on drums and stealing as many of Sharon and Ozzy’s team as possible and as I was designing Ozzy’s sleeves at the time I of course got asked to submit some rough designs.

    As I didn’t want to lose my gig with the Osbourne’s I thought the best thing to do would be to put some ridiculous and obvious designs down on paper, submit them and then get the beers in with the rejection fee, but oh no, life ain’t that easy. In all I think there were four rough ideas that were given to the management and band to peruse (unfortunately I no longer have the roughs as I would love to see just how bad the other three were as sadly my booze and drug addled brain no longer remembers that far back), anyway one of the ideas was of course the baby and the first image of a baby that I found was from the front cover of a 1968 magazine called Mind Alive that my parents has bought me as a child in order to further my education, so in reality I say blame my parents for the whole sorry mess. I then took some black and white photocopies of the image (the picture is credited to ‘Rizzoli Press’) that I overexposed, stuck the horns, nails, fangs into the equation, used the most outrageous colour combination that acid could buy, bastardized a bit of the Olde English typeface and sat back, shook my head and chuckled.

    The story goes that at the meeting Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler were present but no Ian Gillan or Bill Ward. Tony loved it and Geezer, so I’m reliably informed, looked at it and in his best Brummie accent said, “It’s shit. But it’s fucking great!” Don not only loved it but had already decided that a Born Again baby costume was to be made for a suitable midget who was going to wear it and be part of the now infamous ‘Born Again Tour.’ So suddenly I find myself having to do the bloody thing. I was also offered a ridiculous amount of money (about twice as much as I was being paid for an Ozzy sleeve design) if I could deliver finished artwork for front, back and inner sleeve by a certain date.

    As the dreaded day drew nearer and nearer I kept putting off doing it again and again until finally the day before I sprang into action with the help of a neighbor, (Steve ‘Fingers’ Barrett) a bottle of Jack Daniels and the filthiest speed that money could buy on the streets of South East London and we bashed the whole thing out in a night, including hand lettering all the lyrics, delivered it the next day where upon I received my financial reward. But that wasn’t the end of it oh no, when Gillan finally got to see a finished sleeve he hated it with a vengeance and hence the now famous quote “I looked at the cover and puked!” Not wanting to sound bitchy but over the years I’ve said the same thing about most of Gillan’s album sleeves. He also allegedly threw a box of 25 copies of the album out of his window. Gillan might have hated it but Max Cavelera (Sepultura, Soulfly) and Glen Benton (Deicide) have both gone on record saying that it is their favorite album sleeve.

    Continues after the jump…

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
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