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  • ‘Gigerstein’: The extraordinary guitar that H.R. Giger designed for Blondie’s Chris Stein
    05.26.2015
    09:31 am

    Topics:
    Art
    Music

    Tags:
    Chris Stein
    H.R. Giger
    guitars


     
    A few days ago VICE ran an interesting interview with Chris Stein of Blondie on the subject of his close friendship with the masterful Swiss artist H.R. Giger. Stein was heavily involved with Debbie Harry’s first solo album, KooKoo, for which Giger supplied the incredibly memorable cover art, with Harry’s face seemingly punctured by several large acupuncture needles.
     

     
    Stein was very fond of Giger, who died about a year ago, calling him “a really sweet guy.” Stein said that he owns a throne that Giger designed: “It’s one of a very few in the country. The seat cushion rotted completely at one point and he gave me a second seat cushion, which is starting to rot. It was made from foam rubber.”

    I was poking around on Stein’s own website dedicated to Blondie information when I spied a reference to “Gigerstein,” identified as follows: “Chris’ custom GIGERSTEIN guitar, designed with the help of H. R. Giger and Chris himself.” Sure enough, click on the link and you arrive at the web page for Lieber Guitars, which indeed has plenty of information and pics about this remarkable guitar.

    According to the page,
     

    The asymmetrical bio-mechanical body is hand carved in wood. It is adorned with carbon graphite, assorted biological materials and bronze castings.

    The neck and six-fingered “peg-hand” comprise unidirectional carbon graphite fiber. A unique construction feature is the integral molding of the neck and fingerboard.

     
    The Lieber Guitars page that highlights the instrument is a little vague on who actually designed this guitar. It would be enough for it to be “based on” the incredibly distinctive artworks of Giger, but if Giger had a hand in the design of the guitar itself, well, then that’s even better. Two consecutive sentences flesh out the details here: “After [Thomas] Lieber’s careful study of Giger’s artworks, the concept of using an Alien’s hand for the peg-head was realized and several body depictions were rendered.” Okay, so Lieber was on his own, it seems. But then we read on: “In an artistic meeting, Giger, Chris and Lieber hammered out the final modifications and details and the result is truly a work of art.” So it was mainly Lieber’s design but Giger definitely, according to the guitar maker, was involved in the process of creating this singular guitar.

    More information as well as these pictures can be found at the Lieber Instruments website.
     

     

     
    More looks at Gigerstein after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    In honor of your birthday today, ‘Sit on My Face, Stevie Nicks’
    05.26.2015
    09:28 am

    Topics:
    Music

    Tags:
    Stevie Nicks
    The Rotters


    A rare glimpse of Stevie Nicks, enjoying some coke.
     
    Stevie is one of our favorite ‘70s AOR songstresses, who may or may not be a white-witch. We certainly wish her all the best on her special day!

    Still, we can’t resist blowing the dust off this bit of snot-nosed 1979 LA punk anti-homage. It’s just too dumb not to share.

    The Rotters managed to get “banned” in LA after Rodney on the ROQ played this track.

    According to the band’s account here:

    We soon found we were banned in Los Angeles. Someone claiming to be Mick Fleetwood himself called KROQ and threatened them with a lawsuit if they played the song, then called Nigel at home with the same threat. All the major record stores in Los Angeles were threatened with no more big selling Big Mac albums if they sold our nasty little single. Ooh scary! What a threat. Who the hell bought Tusk anyway? It sucked the turds out of a dead bloated water buffalo’s anus. Some stores hid our records under the table like a bunch of pussies and some gave Fleetwood Mac the finger and still got their albums anyway. Then they decided to be less obvious and the doors to a number of the clubs in town closed to us mysteriously.

     

     
    The record is now a sought-after collectable, and both the Rotters and Fleetwood Mac manage to play totally necessary reunion gigs to this day.

    Happy Birthday Stevie! We really do love you.
     

     

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
    All 25 episodes of ‘New Wave Theatre’ are online
    05.26.2015
    08:49 am

    Topics:
    Music
    Television

    Tags:
    New Wave Theatre


     
    A generous and kind soul uploaded all 25 episodes of New Wave Theatre the incredible local TV show that extensively covered the Los Angeles punk scene. The show ran from January 1981 to March 1983, and was abruptly stopped in its tracks when its host, Peter Ivers, was found beaten to death in his apartment. Within a few months of its premiere, the crucial USA Network program that aired late at night on Fridays and Saturdays, Night Flight, provided a national showcase for the show.

    The show was created and produced by David Jove, who also wrote the program with Billboard magazine editor Ed Ochs. Ivers’s murder is officially unsolved, but according to this page the prime suspect for the crime was Jove.
     

    Peter Ivers
     
    Ivers was a very interesting guy—among other things he wrote “In Heaven (The Lady in the Radiator Song),” which appears in David Lynch’s 1977 movie Eraserhead and many years later was covered by the Pixies. Among the bands that appeared on New Wave Theatre are the Angry Samoans, Dead Kennedys, 45 Grave, Fear and The Plugz, X, and Circle Jerks.

    In Josh Frank’s book In Heaven Everything is Fine, Ken Yas, a friend of David Jove, memorably called New Wave Theatre “Ed Sullivan on acid meets American Idol on cocaine.”

    Here’s the series in its entirety. Enjoy it before someone yanks it off of YouTube!
     

     
    Thank you Annie Zaleski!

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Your favorite comic book superheroes caught in compromising, mundane and very HUMAN positions
    05.26.2015
    07:11 am

    Topics:
    Art
    Pop Culture

    Tags:
    comics
    Superheroes


     
    Superheroes capture our imagination because, for the most part, they are ordinary people who have been granted some particular power and must reconcile the responsibility of that power with the fact that, at heart, they are human beings with regular human faults and complexities.

    Indonesian photographer Edy Hardjo has made it his mission to demonstrate this reconcilliation between superpower and ordinary human behavior. Hardjo’s work uses humor to show us that, in spite of their given better-than-human abilities, superheroes are just regular schmucks like the rest of us. Hardjo’s photographs give us an insight into the mundane worlds of The Avengers, Wolverine, Spiderman, Batman and other characters from the Marvel and DC universes.

    Hardjo utilizes 1/6-scale figures and Photoshop to produce hilarious and sometimes risque insights into the the everyday life of a superhero.

    These are some of our favorites:
     

     

     
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
    ‘Quack, Quack, Peanut Duck’: The wacky 1965 novelty song that is STILL a mystery fifty years later
    05.26.2015
    07:04 am

    Topics:
    Music

    Tags:
    novelty

    Peanut Duck
     
    In 1965, at a studio in Philadelphia, a most unusual novelty dance number was cut called “Peanut Duck.” The tune was shelved, but survived as an acetate. The record was discovered by a British DJ in the 1980s, who issued the track on a dubious release with misleading information. It’s now fifty years later, and the identities of all those who appeared on “Peanut Duck”—including the lead vocalist—is still a mystery. And boy, is this song bonkers!
     
    Joker 45
     
    When “Peanut Duck” was pressed in the mid-1980s, it was credited to a singer named Marsha Gee, though it was later revealed to be untrue (more below). It’s fairly obvious that it’s not the same Marsha Gee who released a song called “Baby, I Need You.”

    “Peanut Duck” follows the template of novelty and fad dances like “The Loco-Motion” and “The Twist”—to a point. The unknown female vocalist does explain how to do the goofy dance, but doesn’t go into very much detail, and some of the lyrics are completely unintelligible. It’s also unclear as to what George Washington Carver’s favorite legume has to do with anything. The track really goes off the rails once it passes the 2:00 minute mark, with the singer free-forming it like you won’t believe.
     
    Penniman 45
     
    In 2005, the song was said to have received its first authorized release when it was issued as a 45 on the Penniman label (with writer and publishing credits that don’t match the Joker version, but still attributed to Marsha Gee). That same year, Rhino included it on their boxed set, Girl Group Sounds: One Kiss Can Lead to Another. Here’s Rhino’s liner notes concerning the track in question:

    At Virtue Sound Studio in Philadelphia, a mystery girl singer cut “Peanut Duck,” a feverish soul stomper that trailed the Loco-Motion, Mashed Potato, Twist trend. But the track was never released, and Marsha Gee was not the actual singer. The only proof of “Peanut Duck” lay in an acetate discovered by a British Northern Soul DJ who took the disc back to England and released it as a bootleg on Joker Records in the ‘80s. Not wanting his rival DJs to infringe upon his precious find, he christened the unknown singer Marsha Gee (who incidentally had a single out on Uptown Records in 1965). The true voice behind “Peanut Duck” has yet to be revealed. Anyone?

    Yes, anyone? Was it YOU?
     

    Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
    Rare, intimate photographs of Frida Kahlo in love, in pain and with her pets
    05.26.2015
    06:44 am

    Topics:
    Animals
    Art

    Tags:
    Frida Kahlo


    Frida And Her Ducks, 1948-49
     
    Recently, the New York Botanical Gardens recreated parts of the extensive tropical gardens from Frida Kahlo’s famous “Casa Azul” home in Mexico. It’s the first solo NYC presentation of her work in 25 years, and fans are thrilled to see her art in such an immersive, lush setting. In conjunction with the show, Throckmorton Fine Art is showing a rare collection of photos from Frida until September 12th, many of which are set in the beautiful the gardens of the Blue House.

    Though many of the photos appear to be candid snapshots, the images are textured with story. For example, Frida’s hand-painted “plaster bodice”—a cast she wore after one of her many surgeries—contains the hammer and sickle (a pretty explicit nod to her belief in revolutionary communism), but below that is a fetal image, a tragic reference to her failed attempt to have a child due to the bus accident in her youth that left her in constant pain. There are sweeter moments too. While her tumultuous relationship with her husband Diego Rivera produced some warm moments in front of the camera, it is with her many pets that you see Frida at her most gentle and caring.
     

    Frida Wearing Plaster Corset, Which She Decorated With Hammer And Sickle (And Unborn Baby), Coyoacán, 1951
     

    Frida With Michoacán Gourd On Head, 1933
     

    Frida Winking, 1933
     
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
    Muslim televangelist: Jerking off will make your fingers pregnant in the afterlife!
    05.26.2015
    06:32 am

    Topics:
    Amusing
    Belief
    Kooks
    Sex

    Tags:
    masturbation

    0045pregfingers098765342qwerty.jpg
     
    Once upon a time, masturbation was said to make you blind or lead to hairs growing on the palm of your hand, now it is claimed onanism will have serious consequences for men in the hereafter.

    During a television interview in 2000, self-styled Muslim “televangelist” Mucahid Cihad Han told viewers that men who masturbate will find their hands pregnant in the afterlife. (What I wonder, happens to women’s hands?)

    Han’s bizarre warning took place during a Q&A session with viewers when he was asked for advice by a viewer who “kept masturbating even though he was married.” Han initially looked puzzled by the question, but after the interviewer repeated the sticky question Han urged the man to “resist Satan’s temptations” and added:

    “Moreover, one hadith states that those who have sexual intercourse with their hands will find their hands pregnant in the afterlife, complaining against them to God over its rights.

    “If our viewer was single, I could recommend he marry, but what can I say now?”

    Frankly, I’m at a loss.

    When Han tweeted this interview to his 12,000 followers on Saturday, he “was mocked on Turkish social media,” according to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News.
     

     
    In its report on the story, the paper queried Han’s interpretation:

    “Istimna,” the Arabic term for masturbation that Han also referred to, is a controversial issue in Islam, as there have been varying opinions on its permissibility throughout history. The Quran has no clear reference to masturbation and the authenticity of many hadiths is questionable.

    Despite Han’s assertive religious stance, only a limited number of Islamic interpretations categorize masturbation as “haram,” while most of others call it a “makruh” (disliked) act. Many of the mainstream Islamic interpretations even allow it in certain conditions, like if the act could be used to avoid the temptation of an extramarital affair.

    Han, who has more than 12,000 followers on Twitter, was mocked on Turkish social media on May 25, after newspapers published his latest television “fatwa.”

    “Are there any hand-gynaecologists in the afterlife? Is abortion allowed there?” one Twitter user asked, while mentioning Han’s Twitter user name.

    “So you think that being pregnant is a God-given punishment?” another user asked.

    We have the video of Mr. Han’s interview, but alas no subtitles and still no answer regarding women’s hands.
     

     
    Via the Hurriyet Daily News.
     

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    Ramones and the New York Dolls cookies
    05.26.2015
    06:21 am

    Topics:
    Food
    Punk

    Tags:
    Ramones
    New York Dolls
    cookies

    New York Dolls cookies
    New York Dolls cookie set
     
    I don’t know about you, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I don’t think I’ve ever met a cookie I didn’t like. And thanks to punk rock cookie purveyor American Cookie Craft, I’ve now met cookies I love so much I don’t think I could ever consume them. Irony, thy name is Joey Ramone covered in sugary icing.
     
    The Ramones cookies
    The Ramones cookie set
     
    Both sets of these punk rock cookies are modeled after the cover art for each of the band’s eponymous debut records. In addition to the confectionery versions of Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy, the Ramones set also comes with two extra cookies with the band’s name on it. I’m especially fond of the extra cookie that comes with the Dolls’ set that is beautifully decorated with their iconic pink lipstick logo. The cookies come in Vanilla Bean, Victorian Lavender or Chocolate, and may be customized to your liking. Keep in mind that the price of punk has gone up significantly since the 70’s. Both sets of six cookies will run you $24.99.  They’ve also got other sweet treats that culture vultures will debate eating or displaying of the Grateful Dead, Frida Kahlo, Yellow Submarine, Young Frankenstein and Vlad the Impaler.
     
    Joey Ramone cookie
     
    More cookies after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    ‘Girlfriend’: Austere portraiture of spectacular 90s drag queens
    05.25.2015
    12:59 pm

    Topics:
    Queer

    Tags:
    photography
    drag queens
    Michael James O'Brien


    Lady Bunny
     
    Photographer Michael James O’Brien‘s Girlfriend exhibition—now showing at Liverpool’s international photography festival—is an absolutely captivating array of vintage 90’s queer aethetics. While his subjects explode with life (and are ostensibly color people), the drag queens featured in his work have been captured in black and white, in front of nothing but a simple back-drop. This stark, austere composition has become his trademark, an artistic strategy to reveal the both the humanity of the queens alongside of their glamour. He’s been recording drag for 30 years, and his work stands out as a subtle look at a sensational art form.

    O’Brien’s work was also featured in Girlfriend: Men, Women, and Drag a 1999 book by former New York Times Magazine style editor Holly Brubach. O’Brien actually took pictures of drag all over the world for the project, and though some are street photography and/or in color, the stark staging of the pictures obviously bear his sensibilities.
     

    Butch Queens in Chanel
     

    Ming Vauze
     

    Billy Beyond and Sister Dimension
     
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
    Vintage cinema sleaze: Remarkable ‘neo-retro’ video covers and poster art
    05.25.2015
    10:31 am

    Topics:
    Art
    Movies
    Pop Culture

    Tags:
    VHS

    They Live BluRay box art, 2014
    John Carpenters’ They Live Blu-Ray cover art (UK), 2014
     
    In the early 80’s it was rumored that the UK had the largest number of VHS players per household, than anywhere else in the world. This interesting and perhaps plausible factoid (since the first home video recorder, The Telcan hit the UK consumer market in 1963), comes straight from the mouth of UK born illustrator, film poster designer and VHS aficionado, Tom Hodge, aka “The Dude Designs.
     
    King of New York for DVD/BlueRay art for Arrow 2012
    King of New York DVD/Blu-Ray cover art for Arrow, 2012
     
    Like so many of us, Hodge’s obsession with cinema began thanks to easy access to VHS (Video Home System) tapes and frequent visits to his local “video van man.” Much like the movies themselves, the glorious cover art that continues to entice VHS collectors from all over the world, was quickly burned into his psyche. In 1995 Hodge began his formal education with graphic design and visual communication before launching his career as a professional designer in 2000. Since then, Hodge has designed dozens of DVD and Blu-Ray covers as well as salacious film posters for titles put out by Arrow Films, Scream Factory, and Magnet, among others. His art is seemingly possessed by the spirit of the seedy underbelly of vintage grindhouse, horror and exploitation cinema.
     
    Brian DePalma's Obsession DVD/BluRay cover 2011
    Brian De Palma’s Obsession DVD/Blu-Ray cover art, 2011
     
    If you also love all things VHS with a passion as Mr. Hodge, Yale University’s film archive would make you weep. The Ivy League school boasts a collection of almost 5,000 titles; 2,700 of them on VHS. Of particular interest in Yale’s archival is the fact that it is primarily comprised of horror films, thanks due in part to the “direct to video” marketing tactic used by fringe filmmakers in order to circumvent the Hollywood machine. What is also significant about both Yale and Hodge’s cultural curation of VHS, is that there are an endless number of VHS titles that simply cannot be found (or never will be released) on DVD or Blu-Ray. In other words, the only way to see many of the films that reside in Hodge’s or Yale’s archives requires that you pull your VCR out of storage, and view it on old-school magnetic tapes. 
     
    Hobo with a Shotgun movie poster for Magnet, 2011
    Jason Eisner’s Hobo with a Shotgun. Movie poster for Magnet, 2011
     
    Recently, Hodge put together an archival of his own that is chronicled in his book, VHS Video Cover Art: 1980’s to Early 1990’s. Nearly half of the VHS films featured in the book are straight from Hodge’s own collection. Although many of the titles in Hodge’s book may be more recognizable to a UK video junkie, any child of the 80’s will undoubtedly recall many of the hundreds of images of VHS tapes (front and back mind you, squeee!) within the books covers.
     
    From Parts Unknown film poster, 2014
    From Parts Unknown (Fight Like a Girl) film poster, 2014
     
    Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla (Australia) film poster, 2013
    Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla (Australia) film poster, 2013
     
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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