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Of broken teeth & David ‘Boo-wie’: Iggy Pop’s endearing first Letterman appearance, 1982
03.31.2017
11:09 am
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I’m very terrified of this country, the USA…some of the values are so foul and so wicked… It’s very wicked the way people are restrained, and I’m in favor of something else.

—Iggy Pop predicting our current reality in his 1982 book I Need More: The Stooges and Other Stories

I make no apologies for looking for any opportunity to write about Iggy Pop. He is as close to a god walking among us and the only deity I’d be likely to bow down to if the situation ever presented itself. Today’s deep-dive into Iggy’s illustrious past involves his very first appearance on Late Night with David Letterman in December of 1982.

Iggy had just penned his book I Need More: The Stooges and Other Stories and was on the show to promote the book as well as his latest album, Zombie Birdhouse. After being introduced by Dave, Iggy jangles out onto the stage wearing bright red boots, turquoise blue eyeshadow, fierce black cat eyeliner, and blush. He spazzes brilliantly through the frenetic single “Eat or be Eaten” and then heads to the couch for the interview segment with Dave. And that’s when we get to the really good stuff.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.31.2017
11:09 am
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Sex, Drugs & Celebrities: Action figures paired with vintage porn, advertisements & magazine covers
03.31.2017
09:57 am
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From its sweatshop hidden somewhere in deepest depths of New York’s Chinatown, the evil Super Sucklord has been pumping out a range of highly collectible bootleg figurines, art works, trading cards and pop culture mashups since 2015.

The Sucklord is artist Morgan Phillips who is the boss of toy company Suckadelic—best known for its range of film & TV spin-off figurines in particular its Star Wars collectibles. Among the many other goodies available are a series of one-off artworks created by the Super Sucklord called Sucpanelz.

Sucpanlez feature Action Figures paired with vintage print magazine covers, adverts and print materials which are then mounted onto wooden panels. Currently there are two series available: Celebrity Sucpanelz—featuring the likes of G.G. Allin, Kanye, Robin Williams and Johnny Cash among others, and Sex & Drugs Sucpanelz—which is kinda more self-explanatory.
 
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See more of Super Sucklord’s scintillating Sucpanelz, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.31.2017
09:57 am
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‘Smash the State’: Joey Shithead of D.O.A. is running for political office
03.31.2017
09:11 am
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via Greens of British Columbia
 
West Coast punk legend Joey “Shithead” Keithley of D.O.A. is running for office in Burnaby, B.C. Keithley will stand as Green Party candidate for Member of the Legislative Assembly in the May 9 election. His promise:

If I am elected I will be a strong voice for regular folks, the same way I have been in DOA. These are some of the issues I will fight for: affordable housing, creation of jobs through green technology and alternative energy, lower cost daycare, affordable post-secondary education and income equality. I will also stand against the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline that threatens BC’s beautiful coast with potential spills of dirty tar sands oil from Alberta. I will also work towards making the 1% pay their fair share.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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03.31.2017
09:11 am
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‘Insomnia or the Devil at Large’: Gorgeously primitive watercolors by Henry Miller
03.31.2017
08:47 am
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In the mid ’60s, Henry Miller, the great and often controversial American writer whose works were mostly banned in the US until 1961, developed an infatuation on a Japanese lounge singer and actress named Hoki Tokuda. Miller and Tokuda would eventually marry (a true May-December affair—their age difference was almost 50 years, and the marriage was reportedly…unconventional in other respects as well), but before sealing the deal, fretfulness over their relationship would provoke a prolonged bout of insomnia in Miller, and during that spell of sleeplessness, he produced a series of watercolors and the short story “Insomnia or the Devil at Large.” Miller described the watercolors thusly:

They reflect the varying moods of three in the morning. Some were sprinkled with bird seed, some with songes, and some with mensonges. Some dripped from the brush like pink arsenic; others clogged up on me and came out as welts and bruises. Some were organic, some inorganic, but they were all intended to lead their own life in the garden of Abracadabra.”

 

 
“Insomnia” would eventually see its most widely-distributed publication as a 33-page book in 1974, but in 1970, Loujon Press of Albuquerque, NM produced a rather lavish boxed portfolio featuring 17x22” reproductions of the Insomnia watercolors and a letterpress book containing the story. Several editions were made, with the intention of producing 999 boxes in all, but the reality was somewhat more modest. Evidently only about 300 of the wooden cases were made, and the editions, designated with letters A through F, were all published in smaller numbers than originally hoped, some in cheaper boxes, some in an “economy” edition comprised of simply the book and prints with no case at all.

One of the nicer sets, from edition G, has just come up for bidding via the Aspire Auction company. Its provenance is about as direct as can be—it was procured directly from Miller himself by a book and art dealer named Arthur Feldman, and it’s signed.

Insomnia or The Devil at Large”, book and a portfolio of twelve works, 1970. Lithographs on paper, book with comb binding, marked Edition G out of 385 copies to colophon, first edition, signed and dated by the artist “May 1st 1970”, published by Loujon Press, Albuquerque, NM. In wooden box with sliding lid, overall 24” x 19 ⅛”

Bidding closes on Thursday, April 6th. Best of luck. The images that follow are from the copy being offered for sale, and are culled from the auction house’s web site. Clicking spawns an enlargement.
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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03.31.2017
08:47 am
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Frank Zappa and the Mothers freak out in a 1968 sex-ed film
03.31.2017
08:47 am
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Frank Zappa live at TTG Studios, 1966 (via Zappateers)
 
It must have been thrilling, the teacher threading the film into the projector and the Mothers of Invention bursting out of the chalkboard in full color. The instructional movie Sex in Today’s World, a/k/a Sex in the Sixties, presented by Focus Education, Inc., incorporates a few short clips of the Freak Out!-period Mothers driving an LA audience into a Bacchic frenzy.

Román García Albertos’s valuable Zappa videography says this footage was shot at Hollywood’s TTG Studios in 1966 for broadcast on The David Susskind Show. The videography suggests Sex in the Sixties was originally broadcast on ABC, but judging from the number of splices toward the beginning of the version on YouTube, the source is a sex-ed print that saw legit classroom use.
 

The Mothers live at TTG Studios, 1966 (via Zappateers)
 
Something Weird included Sex in Today’s World in the collection Sex Hygiene Scare Films, Volume 2. Here’s the synopsis from their catalog:

Sex in Today’s World (color), “an examination of sex in the 1960’s,” is a time capsule which neatly captures many of the conflicting attitudes of a cross section of people—doctor, psychologist, professors, students, and preachers—caught in the sexual turbulence of 1966. The so-called Sexual Revolution happened so quickly and with such across-the-board pervasiveness that this little film, like most of the people interviewed, seems not only dazed, but trying to catch its breath. It also includes some great glimpses of mid-sixties adult book stores, 42nd Street in its glorious grindhouse heyday, Bunnies doing a go-go at a Playboy Club and, most surprising of all, concert footage of FRANK ZAPPA and THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION! The inevitable conclusion: Yeah, there’s sure a lot of sex out there!

See for yourself, after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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03.31.2017
08:47 am
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Ian Svenonius conducts a seance, summoning the spirits of Brian Jones, Jim Morrison & others
03.30.2017
01:29 pm
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In 2012 Ian Svenonius, well-known D.C.-based indie rock frontman (Nation of Ulysses, the Make-Up, Weird War, Chain and the Gang, etc.) published a volume with the provocative title Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group for Akashic Books. It’s a highly amusing read.
 

Svenonius consorts with a “hostile” protester
 
In January 2013 Svenonius visited Candela Books + Gallery in Richmond, Virginia, and held a seance to illustrate the points outlined in the book. Before he can get going, however, he is interrupted by a “protest” organized by the UFLRSA, that is, the United Federation of Living Rock Stars of America, whose attorneys reads a statement focusing on the unfair treatment toward the working rock and roll stars of today who happen to suffer the unfortunate fate of being alive.

In what proved to be a highly scripted turn of events, Svenonius proposes a seance to bridge the differences between the living and the dead. But he has no candles, which everyone knows are required for a seance. Candles are duly produced.
 

 
In short order four volunteers are seated around a table asking questions of, in order, Paul McCartney (the hoax was true!), Little Richard (alive then, alive now), Brian Jones, and Jim Morrison, who offer useful advice to would-be rock superstars such as “it helps to be British” and “manufacture nostalgia.”

More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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03.30.2017
01:29 pm
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Get Down with ‘The Philly Sound’: The Ultimate Guide to Philadelphia Soul Music
03.30.2017
12:57 pm
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I’ve known Jason Thornton for most of my life. He’s one of the world’s consummate crate diggers and has amassed (and sold and then amassed again) a vinyl collection of epic proportions. He started collecting Elvis’ Sun Records 45s with his father when he was six years old, the two of them scouring garage sales and junk stores panning for plastic gold. By the time he was twelve, he was already an otaku-level “sophisticate” when it came to music, especially classic soul and doo-wop, rockabilly and what is now called “old skool” rap and hip-hop, but was then still a brand new thing. When I met him, he was part of a group of older record-obsessed friends in my hometown of Wheeling, WV. From time to time, when he was still in high school, he’d stay on my couch in New York and spend a few days vacuuming up amazing and obscure finds in lower Manhattan’s record stores with the zeal of a first-time visitor from Japan plotting out his record shopping with ruthlessly military efficiency.

Fast forward a… uh “few” years (okay thirty of them) and he’s a married middle-aged graphic designer working in the Boston area. In recent years Jason (the designer) and his partner Dave Moore (the writer/editor) an Englishman based in Spain have been publishing the well-respected There’s That Beat, a rare soul music fanzine. They were asked by the Swedish book publisher Premium Publishing to channel their expertise into a book on the history of Philadelphia’s music makers and the result is the absolutely mind-bogglingly detailed and comprehensive—not to mention freaking massive—guide to the City of Brotherly Love’s music scene ever published The Philly Sound: Philadelphia Soul Music and its R&B: From Gospel & Bandstand to TSOP. Chock full of rare photos, label scans, sheet music covers, vintage print ads and lots and lots of great stories, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could ever come along and top this truly definitive volume in the future. It’s nearly 700 pages, printed in color on thick glossy paper and weighs more than my dog, so I’m guessing about ten pounds.

And that’s the problem. For reasons related to the shipping costs of such a huge book, Amazon opted not to take on The Philly Sound: Philadelphia Soul Music and its R&B: From Gospel & Bandstand to TSOP, but you can buy it directly from the authors at the There’s That Beat  website.

I asked Jason and Dave some questions via email.

Dangerous Minds: A “music city”—be that Detroit, Chicago, Nashville, New York, Los Angeles, London or Kingston, Jamaica—presupposes an infrastructure to support the business and practical side of things (recording studios, a pool of good musicians, record labels, venues, radio stations, etc). What made Philly such a “strange attractor” for soul musicians?

Jason Thornton: Like most industrial cities, Philadelphia drew lots of black people from the south to seek jobs. Those people brought their talents up north to help create some incredible music, many honing their craft in church and under streetlamps. With the invention of the 45rpm record, it became very inexpensive for people to cut a record and get it into the marketplace. On top of that, the popularity of American Bandstand, a show that started locally and went national, was inspiring people to rush into recording studios and try for that unique exposure. Philadelphia was also a major distribution point for records getting out into the world and Dick Clark was financially linked to distributorships and record labels, not to mention all of the great influential DJs from the many radio stations that catered to black audiences. With all those factors combined, Philadelphia had the perfect terroir for all sorts of music and all of the vehicles in place to help it thrive.

Dave Moore: It was the city’s emergence as a pivotal gospel center via the music of The Ward Sisters, and The Dixie Hummingbirds, alongside Billie Holiday’s blues recordings during the era of the “race records”  that first put the city’s black artists on the musical map. With the rock ‘n’ roll explosion of the 50s, white record label owners were looking for white interpreters of this musical phenomenon and Philadelphia-born Bernie Lowe’s Cameo and later Parkway, identified the Italian teen idol as being a great commercial vehicle. His company dominated the record market on the back of American Bandstand with an artist roster that included Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell and Fabian.

After the Beatles and the British Invasion just about destroyed Cameo/Parkway’s business, waiting in the wings with a new kind of black music were the likes of Maurice Bailey Jr., Kenny Gamble, Joe Stevenson, Leon Huff, Thom Bell, Luther Randolph, Johnny Stiles and Weldon A McDougal III, John Madara and David White, Richard Barrett and Wally Osborne.  During the early sixties these musical entrepreneurs along with others, created a platform that delivered many of the classic Philly soul records of its golden era.  With one eye on Detroit’s successful Motown company,  the city’s musical landscape was sculpted by these people, some more successfully than others. The pinnacle of Philadelphia’s second musical coming came about when Joe Tarsia purchased a building on N 12th St just round the corner from 309 Broad St (the old Cameo Studio).

With Joe’s expertise as a sound engineer, the foundations of MFSB coming together at Frank Virtue’s Studio and Gamble and Huff enjoying success with the Intruder singles, the fuse of Philadelphia’s rocketing success was lit. International hits by Billy Paul, the O’Jays. Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, McFadden And Whitehead, Jerry Butler, The Jones Girls all ensured that Gamble and Huff’s “The Sound Of Philadelphia” took pride of place in the city’s musical achievements.
 

 
Over the decades who were the power players of Philly Soul?

Dave Moore: I guess the guys who really rose to the top of the city’s musical hierarchy are probably identified in three distinct groupings during the timeline of the 50s to the 70s.

Firstly, in the ‘50s, there were those that enjoyed the initial pop success i.e. Bernie Lowe, Kal Man and Dave Appell via America’s teenage awakening years and Dick Clark’s ascendancy with Bandstand. Although not all soulful outings, the labels they established would prove useful apprenticeships for many of the city’s future soul stars.

The 60s saw the emergence of the black influence both in front of and also behind the microphones and mixing board.  Jimmy Bishop’s WDAS radio show put him on top of the promotion pile and his Arctic label was unlucky not to recreate Berry Gordy’s success with Motown. Jerry Ross was enjoying much success with a number of acts and labels and the decline of Cameo/Parkway saw openings for Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell amongst a swathe of young ambitious entrepreneurs.

As the 70s emerged the undisputed crown kings of Philly Soul were The Mighty Three:  Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell.  Joe Tarsia had created the perfect cauldron at Sigma Sound Studios and with MFSB (and particularly Ronnie Baker, Norman Harris and Earl Young as its heartbeat), delivering unrivaled talent, The Mighty Three drove the juggernaut that was a worldwide international success: The Sound Of Philadelphia.     
 

Leon Huff, Thom Bell and Kenny Gamble

What are some songs that best exemplify the Philadephia sound? What was “the TSOP”?

Dave Moore: “The Sound Of Philadelphia” has become synonymous with the green record label bearing the same name owned by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. They could certainly lay a strong claim to be so. The music created by their company via Joe Tarsia’s Sigma Sound Studio was certainly an identifiable and unique sound of the time incorporating lush arrangements, bongo-driven intros, lavish string components and of course with the backing voices of the Sweethearts of Sigma, MFSB’s skills were allowed to breathe fully. If I had to select a solitary song that exemplified this cauldron of talent I’d plump for The O’Jays’ “I Love Music.” Comprising a tell-tale intro, metronome-like drumming from Earl Young, plus effervescent vocals from a real iconic singing group, the whole ensemble are at the top of their creative game.   
 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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03.30.2017
12:57 pm
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Nirvana and Steve Albini prank Evan Dando about working with Madonna, 1993
03.30.2017
12:38 pm
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In 1993 the biggest act in indie rock, by far, was Nirvana, but the Lemonheads weren’t all that far behind. Both acts had enjoyed a spectacularly successful 1992: Nirvana’s Nevermind had hit #1 on the album charts in January, and the Lemonheads followed suit by placing two songs off of the band’s fifth album It’s a Shame About Ray in the top 10, the title track and a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson.”

The lead singer of the Lemonheads was a handsome young lad named Evan Dando, a polarizing figure whose beachy good looks didn’t exactly transmit the requisite values of integrity and struggle to the indie rock faithful. The Lemonheads had jumped to Atlantic for 1990’s Lovey, an act that carried far more symbolic meaning at that time than it would today. (Yes, Nirvana made a similar jump but then, Cobain wasn’t as dreamy-handsome as Dando.) 
 

The Lemonheads
 
In early 1993, Steve Albini and Nirvana were holed up at Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, to record what would become In Utero. At that moment Dando and his band were in Australia for a series of dates that, interestingly enough, would later be documented in a VHS called The Lemonheads: Two Weeks in Australia. While he was there, Dando called up Nirvana to shoot the shit for a while.

Now, indie rockers did not generally have access to email in 1993, and intercontinental telephone calls from hotel rooms were just about the most expensive form of communication imaginable, a fact that doesn’t seem to have fazed Dando a bit. At some point the speculative size of Dando’s hotel bill must have become a topic of conversation in Minnesota because after a while the game became to find a way to keep Dando on the line for as long as possible.

Someone, I’d imagine Kurt, thrusts the receiver in Albini’s face with the mandate to make something up. Forced to improvise, Albini passes himself off as a personal assistant to Madonna, who was just indescribably huge in the early 1990s, any connection with whom would represent a BIG rise in fortune for any former Taang! Records act such as the Lemonheads.

Would Mr. Dando mind waiting on the line while Madonna attends to other business?

And waiting…. and waiting…. and waiting?

Watch Steve Albini himself tell the story after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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03.30.2017
12:38 pm
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Monsters from Outer Space: Glorious covers for German sci-fi magazine ‘Terra’
03.30.2017
12:31 pm
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01terracov.jpg
 
After the Second World War, when everything was all kinda, um… shook-up and most people feared imminent nuclear annihilation, or World War Three with Russia, or maybe even just a little old flying saucer invasion from Mars, there came outta Germany a glorious science-fiction magazine called Terra.

Terra or Terra—Utopische Romane / Science Fiction to give it its full name made its debut in 1957. It was published weekly by Arthur Moewig Verlag until 1968. Together with its rival sci-fi mag Utopia, Terra has been described as “the most important science fiction work in the early years of West Germany.”

One look at these glorious Terra covers explains just why that might be so. Look at these fabulous mutated alien creatures doing battle with strong-jawed astronauts, or killer robots about to off some unlucky human, or just shudder at the slithering rapacious monsters about to devour a tasty spaceman breakfast. These are just awesome, thought-inspiring mini-masterpieces that made Earth seem pretty safe at a time when it could have gone up in a nuclear flash.
 
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More awesome Terra covers, after the jump….

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.30.2017
12:31 pm
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‘Grindhouse Girls’ of the 50s and 60s: An eye-popping set of sexy black & white trading cards
03.30.2017
11:06 am
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A trading card from the ‘Grindhouse Girls’ set put out by Rigomor Press in 1992.
 
This set of sexed-up trading cards featuring strippers and exotic performers from the 50s and 60s was put out in 1992 by Rigomor Press who also put out a few other controversial trading card sets such as Incredible True Life Murderers in 1991 and The World’s Most Hated People in 1992.

The Grindhouse Girls set contains images of well-known adult performers such as Blaze Starr and Maria Villa who performed her exotic act with a snake. The black and white images are a fantastic throw-back to when adult performers used pasties, big hair, and kooky gimmicks to sell their sex appeal. Best of all, like many other vintage trading card sets, when you flipped the cards over you could assemble a giant puzzle—but instead of scene from Charlie’s Angels, you get to put together a picture of “Goddess of the Jungle” Naja Karamuru who was considered to be Brazil’s answer to Jayne Mansfield. Karamuru was a superstar of the burlesque scene back in the 50s and 60s and like Maria Villa, she shared her stage with a number of snakes including two pythons and a cobra. I’ve included images of all twenty cards from the set which occasionally come up for sale on auction sites like eBay if you’re interested in acquiring one for yourself. Though there isn’t any real nudity, strippers and pasties generally equal NSFW.
 

 

 
More ‘Grindhouse Girls’ after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.30.2017
11:06 am
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