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God save the teens: the insane YouTube channel of mall goths Raven and Tara
06.09.2014
09:22 am

Topics:
Amusing
Stupid or Evil?
Thinkers

Tags:
goth
Raven
Tara
Hot Topic

fighiw
 
Raven, Your Acid Bath Princess of the Darkness and her pal Tara are on a goth-lite freakout!
 
Meet the new store-bought modern angst. The truth found herein is something even Marilyn Manson probably couldn’t have predicted. Amazingly, these girls were lucky enough to find each other, their short-lived cohort Azer, and YouTube. And now we can look into their black fishbowl and see what goes on in the deepest recesses of the mall goth’s bedroom. Watching them strangle themselves, bitch each other out and desperately try to lip-sync while losing themselves, busting out with grunts & out of tune screaming is a revelation! Not from The Satanic Bible though, but more from a redecorated-in-black Barbie comic book. Having been in Danzig for a bunch of years, I had met tons of demented teens with good & bad ideas, but this is a whole new thing. I would put money on the fact that Raven, Your Acid Bath Princess of the Darkness and her pal Tara have never heard of The Church of Satan. Anton LaVey’s photo would surely bring a collective “ewwwwwww.” Their taste in music (and their terrible Harry Potter fan fiction) is appalling and their motivation is quite skewed (to me). It’s new! It’s now! It makes no sense! Gotta love it.
 
In this early video that they made with their friend Azer, Mime of Satan’s Bidding (whose father wouldn’t let him be on YouTube, but then didn’t care, so they posted it), we have a perfect introduction to our new “serious as death” friends:
 

 
If they weren’t so young & so real it could be a Saturday Night Live sketch, but as much as I don’t get their motivation, I love how happy and in-the-moment “the darkness” makes them. When they really let go and forget they’re lip-syncing and the grunts of joy burst forth it’s like a cute exorcism.
 
tyrhftd5er
 
“We like” (together) “BEING GOTH! It’s not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.” Their relatives think Hot Topic is a devil store. “AFI & My Chemical Romance saved my life!” they scream desperately.

Azer, Mime of Satan’s Bidding got caught going into the “prep mall” while they were being goth across the street at Hot Topic, causing his ousting, explained here:
 

 
Death to false goth! Easy come, easy go. See ya Azer, Mime of Satan’s Bidding! These girls are so insane & so funny I just hope that there’s a lot of them out there! Haha! Tara’s mom comes in at one point and tells them to be quiet just before they sing “Hate will kill us all!” Then Raven accuses Tara of stealing her moves. I could watch this all day. Oh, I have! This was all uploaded five, six years ago, so I wonder—what are these two doing now?
 
rugjvers
 
And finally this last message, probably the best video I’ve seen in years, the poignant “A Message To The Haters.”
 

 
Hail Satan.

Posted by Howie Pyro | Discussion
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‘Super Duper Alice Cooper’: Welcome to his nightmare….
06.09.2014
09:12 am

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
Alice Cooper


 
I approached the news of Super Duper Alice Cooper with some trepidation. That story has been told to death, hasn’t it? I feel like I’ve seen a gazillion VH1 shows about the rise and fall of Vincent Furnier, misfit preacher’s son from Phoenix who became the most outrageous rock star of the era… or maybe it was just the same one over and over again?

The dramatic arc of fame and fortune followed by Cooper’s debilitating drinking problem and his subsequent comeback as the “godfather of heavy metal” oldies act and happy family man is one we’re all familiar with. Still, there is much to love about Super Duper Alice Cooper, which I enjoyed much more than I expected I would.

The filmmakers, Scott McFadyen and Sam Dunn, call their project a “doc opera” and it’s a nicely textured mosaic of archival footage, live performance, TV talk show appearances and the like. What we don’t see are any contemporary interviews with any out-of-shape old rockers—and that includes Alice Cooper himself, who is in great shape at 66—as is now the fad with music documentaries. The interviews are audio only and frankly, I prefer it when rock docs are made this way. You want to see rock stars in their prime, when they’re old it’s just an annoying reminder that you’re getting old too, I suppose, but it really does elevate productions like this to a higher level. There’s an (effective) framing device of the Dr. Jekyll vs. Mr. Hyde element to the singer’s personality that was clever, but not too clever. Overall I liked it quite a bit and give Super Duper Alice Cooper high marks.

I watched with my wife and there’s one part that shows the media of the time seeming kind of confused about what Alice Cooper stood for. She laughed about the notion of parents thinking this stuff was in any way dangerous and I was like, “Hey, wait a minute, they put out three albums’ worth of songs celebrating death and dead babies and all kinds of morbid things with a pretty straight face. Naturally it came off like some kind of freaky death cult to parents just a few short years after ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’!”

The biggest revelation in the film is that Alice Cooper had a major coke problem, a habit that he indulged in quite heavily in the early 1980s (long after he’d dried out from booze) hanging around with lyricist Bernie Taupin (who only agreed to be interviewed for the film on the condition that Alice’s coke problem be addressed). Everybody knows Alice Cooper was a drunk, but even when he was looking fucking insane (if not literally moments away from death) when Tom Snyder interviewed him, who ever heard of Alice Cooper freebasing cocaine? They kept the lid pretty tight on that, but it all comes out in Super Duper Alice Cooper.

WHEN is someone going to post the full “Levity Ball” clip on YouTube?
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Fire up Photoshop—I found the worst couple on Instagram
06.09.2014
08:03 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:
couples
Instagram


 
Usually, I’m pretty forgiving of social media gaucherie. I’m off Facebook, which certainly helps, but when it comes to Twitter or Instagram, I figure it’s your account, post whatever you want—no one’s forcing me to look at it. People take such personal offense to someone taking a million pictures of their cats/children/food/selves, but they’re going through their own lives—what right have we to demand entertainment or intellectual stimulation from them? We could so easily unfollow if we don’t like what they post.

But I have recently found my breaking point.

You may remember a post I wrote a little while ago on Kara Walker’s giant sculpture of a sugary sphinx. The piece is a gargantuan sphinx coated in sugar, invoking racist “Mammy” imagery of a black woman, and Walker (who yes, is black) is well-known for her use of uncomfortable racial and sexual iconography.

I get that we live in incredibly vulgar times, but Jesus Christ on a Goddamn Pony, you don’t have the presence of mind not to suck face in front of obviously slavery-themed art?

Their Instagram, called “kissmeeverywhere,” is nothing but 642 pictures of them kissing—a monument to performative affections. The description of their profile reads, “Why should we stop kissing? if it’s the best way to remember why we are together.” I’ll give them this, I think that’s probably an accurate statement, since both these people probably require constant reminding that other people exist, including their significant other.
 

 
So let’s get some Photoshops going! I picture the lamprey-lovebirds at the base of of the “The Sculpture of Love and Anguish.” Or maybe locking lips in front of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial? There’s a lovely arch along The Trail of Tears, and I hear there are some truly scenic ex-gulags in the former USSR. Let’s get creative!
 

 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Home movie footage of Duke Ellington and his band playing baseball
06.09.2014
07:51 am

Topics:
Music
Sports

Tags:
jazz
Duke Ellington
baseball

Duke Ellington
 
Two of the greatest home-grown American inventions—indeed, grassroots institutions—are jazz and baseball. The consensus greatest practitioners of both pastimes—Louis Armstrong and Babe Ruth, respectively—were in their prime at the exact same time, the 1920s, and both men were raised in orphanages. Shit, it’s jazz and baseball, I’ve just accidentally named two Ken Burns PBS series, that’s how freaking iconic those two things are. You can tell the story of America through baseball, or through jazz. They’re both rich mines of meaning.

And if you have something that combines the two, well, that’s something I want to know about. Smithsonian Magazine recently came up with some truly remarkable footage, dating from around 1941, of the legendary jazz bandleader and composer Duke Ellington playing a little bit of baseball during an off moment with a few of his bandmates, namely cornetist Rex Stewart and valve trombonist Juan Tizol. For the record, that’s the Duke pitching and then swinging the bat from about 0:15 to 0:30. (That’s tenor sax man Ben Webster in the bathrobe at the end, clearly communicating something along the lines of “You guys can play out there if you want, I’m hung over and I’m staying right here.”)
 
Duke Ellington
 
This fantastic image actually has nothing to do with the footage. That picture was taken sometime in the mid-1950s—the massive slogan on the bus, “Mr. Hi-Fi of 1955,” in addition to being my own future nickname if I have anything to say about it, surely puts us pretty close to that year. The appearance of the neon word “Colored” at left certainly suggests that this little game of pickup ball took place somewhere in the South.
 

 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Mike Watt stars in new Sweet Apple video: a DM exclusive premiere


 
Dangerous Minds is proud to present the exclusive premiere of the new Sweet Apple video, “Let’s Take the Same Plane.”
 

 
Sweet Apple is the indie supergroup formed by J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr, Dave Sweetapple of Witch, and Tim Parnin and John Petkovic of Cobra Verde. Their current album, The Golden Age Of Glitter, is earning raves, and “Let’s Take the Same Plane” is the third of a planned six videos to complement it. (You can see the first two in this DM post from April.) This one stars Minutemen/Firehose bassist and stalwart rock lifer Mike Watt as a kayaker launching his boat and roaming out into the Pacific, shot on the same San Pedro beach where Watt took photos for his book On and Off Bass. And that’s pretty much it. That’s all it needs to be! It’s a disarmingly poignant video for the album’s most contemplative song, a lonely acoustic number with gorgeous backup vocals from the Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan and Rachel Haden of the Rentals and That Dog.

Here’s the video. Enjoy.
 

 
Mike Watt is currently a member of il sogno del marinaio, who will be touring this fall. Dates are listed at his web page.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Lou Man Group exists and seems pretty brilliant, and that’s about all we can tell you about them


 
In recent weeks, when former child star Macaulay Culkin’s headache-inducingly stupid vanity band—the now infamous pizza-themed Velvet Underground “tribute” called The Pizza Underground—was booed and bottled off of a UK festival stage and subsequently canceled its tour, most sane observers were heard to say (in my imagination, anyway) “WHEW! Guess that’s the last we’ll hear of high concept, non-sequitur Lou Reed related cover bands.” But such declamations would have been premature—for on the horizon, a challenger appears, and it’s a credible challenger.
 

 
All I have to share with you is this: a flier exists advertising an appearance by Lou Man Group (there’s no way this joke needs explaining, right, we all know about Blue Man Group?) this past Saturday at L.A.’s Cowboy Gallery, whose FB page says exactly squat about such an event. The “band” has a web site with a video and a few photos, which directs the reader to an equally sparse Facebook page, just established in March. About all that can be said for sure is that this Lou Man Group probably has nothing to do with Lou Piniella’s. Their YouTube channel so far boasts all of two videos, the weird and insidery “The Manager,” and a lengthier advertisement for the group that features actually really cool and worthy versions of “Vicious,” “Foggy Notion” and, unsurprisingly, “Walk On The Wild Side”.
 

 

 
So did any DM readers attend this show? Is this a real band, and not just a clever tease? I’m really keen to know what’s up, because I LOVE THIS.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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‘Regarding Susan Sontag’: America’s last great intellectual rock star
06.08.2014
01:45 pm

Topics:
Books
Movies
Pop Culture
Thinkers

Tags:
Susan Sontag


 
From Sontag’s “Notes on ‘Camp’” (1964):
 

56. Camp taste is a kind of love, love for human nature. It relishes, rather than judges, the little triumphs and awkward intensities of “character.” … Camp taste identifies with what it is enjoying. People who share this sensibility are not laughing at the thing they label as “a camp,” they’re enjoying it. Camp is a tender feeling.

 
I won’t beat around the bush about Nancy Kates’ new documentary Regarding Susan Sontag because I loved every minute of it. For one, I’ve always been fascinated by Sontag herself, but beyond that, this is a very fine film, made with great flair, economy, and emotion. There’s not a single wasted frame. It’s the Susan Sontag movie that needed to be made.

Susan Sontag was a “social critic,” filmmaker, novelist, and political activist, although she is mostly referred to as an “intellectual,” a sort of rock star writer who emerged in the early ‘60s pontificating on a dizzying variety of subjects that no one had ever really thought of taking seriously before her. Sontag offered the readers of her essays opinions on “camp,” the hidden cultural meanings behind low-budget sci-fi films, photography as an unlikely impediment to understanding history, Pop art, warfare, the cinema of Jean-Luc Godard and much, much more. There was seemingly nothing that didn’t fascinate her, and this unceasing, insatiable search for novelty and new experiences is what fueled Sontag’s life on practically every level, including her personal relationships, which often didn’t run very smoothly.
 

What other 20th century intellectual giant was photographed as much as Susan Sontag was?
 
Although she often came across in her interviews as brash, even imperious, Sontag was someone who privately felt that she was a bit of an underachiever, always writing about artists and culture, but not taken as seriously as an artist herself for her own films and novels. Gore Vidal famously trashed her talent at writing fiction, which apparently wounded Sontag deeply.

Obviously it was Sontag’s right to have held this rather morose opinion of her life’s work, but it seems so cosmically unfair considering the literary gifts she left behind her. “Susan Sontag’s brilliance”—in a nice turn of phrase I’m pulling straight out of the press release—“gave form to the intangible.” No minor achievement, it is for this that she will be best remembered.

Filmmaker Nancy Kates is best known for her film Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, about the gay African-American civil rights leader. If you ever get the chance to see this film, do take it. Kates will be screening Regarding Susan Sontag at the Sheffield Doc Fest on June 10 with a Q&A session afterwards. HBO will will airing the film in the fall of 2014.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Johnny Thunders hawks hot dogs in 1984
06.06.2014
11:14 am

Topics:
Food
Music

Tags:
Johnny Thunders
hot dogs


 
Stippes Bar, “Home of the Hungarian hot dog,” is something of an institution in Malmö, Sweden, a diverse, formerly industrial city known for its large immigrant population. Their affordable, delicious, spicy garlic sausages (often served to barhoppers in need of ballast) eventually became the joint’s signature dish, but when it opened in the 1970s, the owner had to offer free coffee to taxi drivers, just to get some patrons in the door—authentic Swedish cuisine is not exactly known for its “heat.” Johnny Thunders, however, was an Italian-American New Yorker, and I’m not surprised he made a stop at Stippes for the intense garlic flavors.

While his exploits in Sweden are pretty well documented—a child from a whirlwind romance, a now-infamous “banned performance.” I can’t find any context on the ad. Stippes is a local favorite, but it’s not exactly “famous.” The ad reads “I, too have gone over to Hungary”—maybe Johnny just really liked the dogs?

Below is some footage of Johnny playing Sweden in ‘82. It’s an engaging performance, but the crowd is seated at tables with actual tablecloths, and they don’t seem to know what to do with the spastic performance. Methinks the hot dog crowd was more his wheelhouse.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Marilyn Monroe in a potato sack
06.06.2014
08:44 am

Topics:
Movies
Pop Culture

Tags:
Marilyn Monroe


 
The story behind this 1951 photoshoot appears to be contested. Some say it was a response to a journalist who criticized Monroe’s less-than-modest clothing, calling her “cheap” and “vulgar,” and saying she’d be better suited to a potato sack. Another, more complimentary version says the pictures were inspired by a comment that Monroe could make even a potato sack look good. Either way, it’s an endearingly defiant move on her part—eschewing her obvious bombshell typecasting to do something funny and kind of trashy. I can’t help but think John Waters would approve.

The pictures inspired an Idaho potato farmer to send her a whole sack of precious spuds, but Monroe never got to enjoy them, saying “There was a potato shortage on then, and the boys in publicity stole them all. I never saw one. It just goes to show why I always ask, ‘Can you trust a publicity man or can’t you?’ ”

Lines like that remind me of Monroe’s underappreciated wit and natural comedic talent, so I threw in an art-imitates-life clip from her role in the 1950 Bette Davis classic, All About Eve. It was a brief but memorable part very early in her career. She plays an aspiring actress—a wily girl with an ingenue’s disarming mannerisms—and she gets in some perfect one-liners on the self-importance of actors and boorishness of the industry.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
H/T: Messy Nessy Chic
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Kooky Simon & Garfunkel ad from 1967: Art is a lion, and Paul is a panda

At the Zoo
 
I stumbled upon this fantastic image in an extremely thoughtful and well-written article by Richie Unterberger on “folk-rock findings” that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame posted a few days ago. After assessing some fascinating magazine ads featuring Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Gene Clark, and Janis Ian, Unterberger ends with a real corker, a full-page magazine ad from March 1967 promoting Simon & Garfunkel’s then-new single “At the Zoo,” off of their album Bookends, complete with cute little “panda-Paul” and cute little “lion-Art” in the foreground.

Writes Unterberger:
 

Here’s guessing Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel did not see or approve this ad before it got printed in March 1967. Maybe Garfunkel wouldn’t have minded being cast as the lion, but it’s hard to see Simon being pleased to be the panda.

 
I suppose Unterberger could have a point here, but I don’t think so. First of all, the song ain’t exactly “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” it’s “At the Zoo,” one of their more whimsical, not to mention kid-friendly, ditties. Second, Simon & Garfunkel weren’t idiots: they were and are creatures of commerce as well as of art, and they probably weren’t all that opposed to whatever approach would land them the biggest hit. (For the record, it reached #16 on the U.S. charts.)

Third, and most important, that image wasn’t limited to print advertising by any means—it was the cover of the single! Did they have no control over this image, after three successful albums and the Graduate soundtrack?
 
At the Zoo
 
Well, either way you should still read Unterberger’s article. He makes a lot of good points about the evolution of the marketing of folk-rock during that period.

Here’s a wonderful clip from the UK of S&G performing “At the Zoo” for what seems like a TV audience, but it’s obviously being performed live, not lip-synced. 
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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