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  • Meet Eggstone, the ‘Godfathers of Swedish pop’
    04.26.2017
    03:30 pm

    Topics:
    Music

    Tags:
    Swedish pop music
    Eggstone


     
    In 1990 when Swedish group Eggstone released their first single “Bubblebed” it had been over a decade since any Swedish pop act had gone mainstream. This would soon change, and although their debut album Eggstone in San Diego (recorded at their own Malmö-based Tambourine Studios in 1991) hardly made any impact in the United States, it did fairly well in Europe and a gained a massive following in Japan. AllMusic called it “layered, retro lounge-pop that is cheery, bright and infectious” and they’d go on to record two more albums over five years (Somersault and Vive La Différence!). Each Eggstone record was filled to the brim with insanely catchy, radio friendly songs. With titles such as “Hang on to Your Eco” and “Supermeaningfectlyless,” their lyrics didn’t always make perfect sense in English, but there was a fun quirkiness that came from them being written by a non-English speaker. Guitarist Patrik Bartosch told Billboard magazine in December 1996, “We won’t change something around that’s not correct English just for the sake of it, we like using new combinations of words that haven’t been used before. We’d rather be incorrect than use a cliche.”

    Eggstone put their Swedish producer Tore Johansson on the map, and soon hundreds of bands all over the country began sending their demo tapes into Tambourine looking to record with Tore in Eggstone’s studio. “Out of the demos that were getting sent to us, the other one we really liked was from The Cardigans. They really had something.” Eggstone frontman Per Sunding told Tape Op in a 2015 interview. Tore Johansson helped give The Cardigans the Eggstone sound on their first four albums: lush production with gorgeous vocals in a chic, boss nova-influenced atmosphere. The Cardigans even borrowed Eggstone’s formula for their slightly off-the-wall version of English, and created fun song titles on their albums by combining words that weren’t meant to go together: such as “Pikebubbles” and of course, their huge 1997 chart-topper “Lovefool.” The “Swedish pop” sound had taken shape, and over the next two decades both Tore Johansson and Per Sunding became Sweden’s most in-demand producers working with artists like The Wannadies, bob hund, Peter Bjorn and John, Saint Etienne, April March, Franz Ferdinand (Tore produced their 2004 radio hit “Take Me Out”), Idlewild, Boss Hog, even A-list royalty like Tom Jones and Beatles producer George Martin sessioned at Tamborine.
     

     
    Eggstone selflessly put their career aside to help Sweden’s newfound music scene flourish. Sunding started a record label (Vibraphone Records), built a restaurant in the center of Malmö, and hosted several bands from Japan, most of whom had insanely large budgets to record which helped fund two additional studios: Gula and Country Hell. All three studios remained completely booked year round, so booked in fact that Eggstone could never get in to work themselves. Sunding ultimately became more interested in production rather than his own band. An enormous hard drive crash which destroyed many demos Eggstone had been working on for years didn’t help matters either. Finally, in April 2016 Eggstone refurbished an old demo from 2002 called “Like So” and released it through Spotify. It was their first new release in nineteen years, their fans were ecstatic and interest in the band was renewed. 

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Doug Jones | Leave a comment
    Meet the Wipeouters: DEVO’s surf-rock alter egos created for a children’s show


     
    Mark Mothersbaugh has quite the musical repertoire outside of being the co-founder, keyboardist and lead singer of one of America’s most inventive and beloved new wave groups - the almighty DEVO. In 1989, Mothersbaugh founded the production company, Mutato Muzika, which has also served as the band’s headquarters since its inception. Glancing at the company portfolio, Mutato Muzika (“mutato” being portmanteau for “mutant potato”) has produced music for hundreds of commercials, movies and TV shows, with credits for Wes Anderson films, Nickelodeon’s Rugrats, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, The LEGO Movie, and the soundtrack for the computer game, Sims 2 and much more, too much to mention.

    In addition to the above, Mutato Muzika has also spawned The Wipeouters, the surf-rock DEVO offshoot with a rather vague existence. In the late 90s, Mark Mothersbaugh was approached by Klasky Csupo, Inc. the animation company behind Rugrats, to create the theme for their new extreme-sports themed cartoon series, Rocket Power which followed a group of SoCal kids who surf, skateboard, snowboard, rollerblade, BMX bike, play street hockey, and any other adrenaline-fueled sport you can think of. While their airborne stunts may sound intense, the adolescent complications they faced seemed to be the most challenging: math homework, getting grounded, bullies, confronting one’s fears and insecurities, and so forth. Mothersbaugh assembled his team at Mutato Muzika to record the theme to Rocket Power, which premiered on Nickelodeon in August of 1999.

    At this point on the Devolution timeline, the band was, for the most part, pretty inactive. After poor record sales for 1990’s Smooth Noodle Maps and the dissolution of Enigma Records, DEVO itself pretty much disbanded in 1991. Over the years came a few one-offs, including their “Head Like a Hole” cover, the soundtrack to their CD-ROM adventure game “Adventures of the Smart Patrol,” and a few reunion shows beginning at Sundance, then the Lollapalooza tour, and onward. DEVO’s absence in the 90s, allowed Mothersbaugh to cultivate the success of Mutato Muzika as a commercial music production company powerhouse,  establishing itself outside of the DEVO context.
     
    Mutato Muzika located in West Hollywood, CA
    Mutato Muzika’s lair located in West Hollywood, CA

    And then came the Wipeouters. The mysterious group of surf revival Mutatos featured Mark Mothersbaugh (keyboards/vocals), Bob “1” Mothersbaugh (guitar), Bob “2” Casale (guitar), and Josh “not from DEVO” Mancell (drums). At the recommendation of Gabor Csupo, co-creator of the Rocket Power series, the Wipeouters released a full-length record called P’Twaaang!!! in 2001. Inspired by the works of the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Dick Dale, the Trashmen, and the Ventures, P’Twaaang!!! features 48 minutes of hard-driving tubular guitar riffs, with wacky synths on top to give it that classic DEVOtional flair. Even if you had never listened to DEVO before, the music sounds much like the same band who brought us 1979’s cover of the spy-surf classic “Secret Agent Man.” In addition to the recognizable cast of spuds noted above, the record also features notable guest appearances from Jerry Casale), Jim Mothersbaugh, Robert Casale Sr. (father of the Casale brothers), and other members of the Mutato Muzika family.

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Bennett Kogon | Leave a comment
    Yes, there is a ‘sexy women holding carp’ calendar and, of course, it’s gotta be from Germany
    04.26.2017
    11:46 am

    Topics:
    Animals
    Sex

    Tags:
    carp


     
    OK, it’s April and not exactly calendar-buying season. But this is a little too good not to share. There’s a calendar that showcases pictures of sexy women holding carps. The name of the calendar is the Carponizer Calendar. Carponizer? Yes, Carponizer.

    The calendar is the brainchild of a certain Hendrik Pöhler, a native of Germany who sells equipment for carp fishing for a living.

    To get these priceless pics, photographer Raphael Faraggi runs the shoots in France over four weeks. He is assisted by “two competent caretakers,” who are charged with cleaning and polishing the carps’ scales before they are given to the models for the big pose. The Carponizer Calendar is, shall we say, R-rated, but if you go to Faraggi’s website some of the carp pictures are topless.

    According to Pöhler, “The idea for the calendar was to bring two of the greatest hobbies of men, fishing and women together.” Right.

    The Carponizer Calendar has actually been around since 2014, if not earlier. The 2016 edition and the 2017 edition are available on Amazon. In case you are wondering, the next time that the 2016 calendar configuration comes around again is 2044—leap years are tough—but you can reuse the 2017 edition as soon as 2023.

    Pöhler claims that the 2017 calendar has “once more managed to courageously make every month of the year that little bit more special,” and really, who could argue?
     

     

     
    More scantily clad women holding fish, after the jump…...

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Finally there are posable life-sized skeleton body lamps!
    04.26.2017
    10:44 am

    Topics:
    Amusing
    Design

    Tags:
    lamps


     
    Ever wanted a life-sized skeleton lamp with a lampshade for its head? Then have I got the lamp for you! Zia Priven makes these posable skeleton lamps called the “Philippe.”

    The skeleton happily sits on a stand so you can easily reposition it in any pose you want. (Mine would be flipping everyone the bird.) The “human” bones come in silver, bronze or an off-white and is topped with a black or white lampshade.

    There is no price listed on the Zia Priven website. I’d imagine these cost a pretty penny. I could be wrong, though. You can contact them here to ask about pricing.


     

     

     

     

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    80s ‘Superfans’ talk about their obsessions for Bowie, Boy George, Duran Duran & Elvis

    01supfabeawid.jpg
    Superfans in the sixties.
     
    I don’t suppose I fit the requirements to be called a superfan, well, unless you count having a cheeky wank to a Kate Bush video when I was much younger. Probably not. But I did once (all too briefly) date a tall blonde David Bowie superfan, who probably only ever went out with me because of my passable impression of the Thin White Duke. My vocal dexterity was convincing enough for this dear sweet girl to demand I serenade her with one or two of her favorite Bowie songs during our more intimate moments. I knew it could never last. There was only so long I could sing “The Laughing Gnome” without losing my ardor.

    Back in January 1984, Smash Hits music magazine went in search of a selection of typical eighties superfans. They discovered a band of girls and boys who had an overwhelming passion for all things Bowie, Presley, Duran Duran, Culture Club, Madness, Staus Quo, and even Marillion. These young things gave some sweet and occasionally strange answers as they tried to explain exactly what it means to be a “superfan.” Their answers were compiled into a strange format—as if the writer was attempting to cram in as many words as possible into one sentence without thought for punctuation or even explaining who exactly was talking (Me). But that’s not so important as we do get to hear what it meant to be young(-ish) and obsessed with music in the 1980s.
     
    0covinttwo.jpg
    Smash Hits 5-18 January 1984.
     
    01supfanssmahits518jan1984.jpg
     

    DURAN FANS

    NAMES: TRACY PARKES & KIM GREVILLE
    AGES: 15 & 14
    HOME: BIRMINGHAM

    “I (Tracy) liked them when they first came out. She talked me (Kim) into going on Duran Duran ‘cause I liked Dexys. She told me to take down all my DMR stuff, give it away and stick up Duran Duran. We have about the same amount of stuff. Tracy has more scrapbooks but I’ve got more on the wall—about 50 different things. We don’t get anything. We only get things if we like them. If it’s a really gonkified pic of Simon le Bon we won’t get it. You don’t put gonks on your wall do you? There’s sort of levels of being a fan. We’ve got a friend who is a real fan but we think she prefers football. She only puts up little pictures on her wall. Even if we see a little one when we’re walking up the street, we’ll be screaming. There was one time she went totally mad on Wham!. We didn’t talk to her for about three days. Then suddenly she went back to Duran. All the lost Duran Duran fans are Wham! fans. We visit Roger’s mum and we’ve been up to Nick and John’s parents’ houses. The first time we went to Roger’s we interviewed his mum for a school project and we found out a few facts that no-one else knew. She told us he was tone deaf and that his favourite toy was a glove puppet. And that his favourite meal is Welsh Rarebit. We’ve been up twice now. No three times. The last time she invited us. His dad was there decorating. We had our pictures took with his dad, his mum and the dog. I think people who go mad and sleep on the grass outside are cruel. OK, you might see him but he isn’t going to ask you out and that is what a lot of fans expect. Some of the girls say they are going to meet John Taylor one day. He’s going to swirl them round to the dinner table—with chocolates and everything—and ask them to marry him. We know that isn’t going to happen. I (Tracy) would love to be in one of their videos. Yeah (Kim), even if we were only standing at the bus stop. Anything. The only thing we have in common is that we’re Duran Duran fans. I’m (Tracy) quiet; she’s noisy. I (Kim) say the wrong things; she doesn’t”

     
    More superfans discussing their love of Staus Quo, Madness, Elvis Presley and David Bowie, after the jump….

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    Visual Futurist: Step inside the sci-fi world created by ‘Blade Runner’ visionary Syd Mead


    A depiction of Los Angeles in 2019 by Syd Mead for ‘Blade Runner.’
     
    Artist Syd Mead is probably best known for his work for the 1982 film Blade Runner, though his vast contributions to cinema can be seen in other groundbreaking works such as Aliens (1986), TRON (1982), and 2013’s Elysium which was directed by Neill Blomkamp. Blomkamp had a life-long obsession with Mead and his artwork which was what led him to engage the services of the then 80-year-old artist to design the sets for his futuristic film.

    Mead’s background in industrial design is clear and present in his paintings. During the 1970s his artistic services were highly sought-after and widely respected within the companies and industries he spent time working for such as Ford and Phillips Electronics, illustrating catalogs and other types of publications. Mead also worked closely with elite members of the architectural design world including large hotel chains and other high-end establishments. His relentlessly busy schedule led him to move his base of operations to Los Angeles where he quickly found himself working as an artist for the motion picture industry in the late 70s. Though Blade Runner would not be the first Hollywood film that Mead would lend his visionary talent to, it can’t be disputed that his work on the film left an indelible imprint on the minds of filmmakers and cinephiles around the world, who adopted Mead’s grungy vision of what the year 2019 looked like, and other aspects of Blade Runner’s‘s essence in their work, like the hardwired goths from The Matrix, Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall and Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element.
     

    A sketch of a uniform from ‘TRON’ by Syd Mead.
     
    After meeting with director Ridley Scott to discuss the film (which at the time was going by the working title of Dangerous Days) Mead recalls that Scott told him that his intention was to create the framework for a noir film around its science fiction premise. To help drive his point home Scott used Michael Anderson’s 1972 film Logan’s Run as an example of the “slick and clean” presentation of more conventional cinematic sci-fi, opting instead for more of a bad-side-of-town feeling, pulsating in neon lights and depravity. Ridley Scott quite literally gave Syd Mead the job of creating 2019 Los Angeles for Blade Runner using his own conceptual ideas. During the process, Mead incorporated elements and influences from his travels around the world. Some of the vehicles in the film are based on autos from Cuba or the colorful “jitneys” (also known as “Jeepneys”) that serve as public transportation all around the Philippines. Architecturally, the future city of Los Angeles was based on a combination of Chicago and New York, and Mead’s work in Blade Runner continues to not only inspire filmmakers but also architects and a style that the artist referred to as “retro deco,” or “trash chic.”

    Though I’ve only really scratched the surface when it comes to Syd Mead, I’m hoping it was more than enough to pique your interest in the impossibly cool artist. If that’s the case there are many publications based on Mead’s life and his long line of accomplishments. Perhaps the most lust-worthy is the forthcoming The Movie Art of Syd Mead: Visual Futurist which is set for release in September. The 256-page book is the largest and most comprehensive take on Mead’s career yet, including some never-before-seen works.

    Mead is very much a living legend who deserves every bit of praise his fans give him and more.
     

    ‘TRON.’
     

    Another conceptual work by Mead for ‘TRON.’
     
    More Mead after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    ‘Eraserhead’ fans, you’re going to want this silver vinyl soundtrack reissue
    04.26.2017
    09:12 am

    Topics:
    Movies
    Music

    Tags:
    David Lynch
    Eraserhead


     
    It’s been five years since Sacred Bones put out limited-issue box set reissue of the Eraserhead soundtrack, complete with tons of extras, the newly released track “Pete’s Boogie,” and so forth.

    That product came in three pressings, all of which together totaled a good deal less than 3,000 copies, and today you’re lucky if you can score any of them for fifty bucks….. eighty is more like it. So if you’re looking to expand your LP collection with some primo and fucked-up ambient works composed by David Lynch and the movie’s sound designer, Alan R. Splet, you’ll be happy to hear that Sacred Bones has another pressing coming up this summer—this time on super-evocative silver wax.
     

     
    Just as the earlier pressings did, this “limited deluxe edition” will include a 16-page booklet, three 11-by-11-inch prints, and a limited-edition Peter Ivers 7-inch A-side of the single “In Heaven” with an Ivers recording, “Pete’s Boogie,” as the B-side. As DM readers no doubt remember, Peter Ivers was a very interesting fellow who was one of the guiding spirits behind the legendary Los Angeles TV show New Wave Theater but was unfortunately murdered in March 1983. As stated above, he composed “In Heaven (The Lady in the Radiator Song),” by far the most popular music from Eraserhead that was ever covered by the Pixies (and Tuxedomoon).

    The release date is June 16 and you can pre-order it on Amazon right now for $39.98. This is some of the creepiest “music” ever recorded, so get on it!
     
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Iconic occult ‘Angel Heart’ Ring on sale today only for 30% off


     
    One fateful afternoon thirty years ago, NYC-based jewelry designer Alex Streeter was working in the backroom at his eponymous store in Soho. Two gentlemen entered the shop and approached the artist, identifying themselves as the art directors for Alan Parker’s then-in-production supernatural thriller Angel Heart. They then proceeded to tell Streeter that they felt he was, in fact, the strangest jeweler in town, and hired him on the spot to create a distinctive collection in silver to be worn by the film’s stars, Robert De Niro and Charlotte Rampling. Thus, the famous, or perhaps infamous, Angel Heart Ring, a pentagram in an amber orb held aloft by two rams—and soon to become Streeter’s signature work—was born.
     

     
    One memorable scene in Angel Heart sees De Niro’s sinister character slowly rolling a boiled egg on a plate as Mickey Rourke’s character stares at his amazing ring. Since the film’s release in 1987, Alex Streeter‘s impeccably carved and beautifully-crafted jewelry has been worn by the likes of Jimmy Page, Steven Tyler, Axl Rose, Madonna, Kirk Douglas of The Roots and Marilyn Manson and seen in the pages of fashion bibles the world over. But it’s not just rock stars who covet his fine craftsmanship, it’s people wanting to feel like a rock star—or a sorcerer perhaps—who are attracted to his singular, occult-inspired handiworks.

    Alex Streeter‘s work obviously isn’t for everyone, but for those who are attracted to it, it can be an obsession. But did they chose to wear his work, or did his work chose them to wear it?

    It’s probably a little of both.

    In honor of the 30th anniversary of the ring’s creation, Alex Streeter has designed a new stamped, limited collector’s edition of the Angel Heart Ring. It’s a thicker version of the classic setting, complete with limited edition details, including the trademark Alex Streeter logo and “XXX” stamping on the inner ring.This limited edition setting will only be available through March 6th, 2018 before being discontinued.

    Today April 26th—to celebrate Alex’s birthday—is the annual sale at AlexStreeter.com and AngelHeartRing.com. For one day only you take 30% off with the code “ALEXBDAY” at checkout.
     

    Amber Angel Heart Ring
     

    Side view
     

    Ewaka Red Angel Heart Ring: Hand-created stone in a solid sterling silver setting.
     
    More of Alex Streeter’s exquisite jewelry after the jump…

    Posted by Sponsored Post | Leave a comment
    Beware the dangers of the mosh pit: A look back
    04.25.2017
    01:20 pm

    Topics:
    Music
    Pop Culture

    Tags:
    mosh pits


     
    Originally referred to as “slam dancing,” moshing began to take form thanks to the chaotic environment of hardcore punk in the early 1980s. The DC and Southern California scenes featured bands like Bad Brains and Black Flag who brought a new level of energy and attitude to your average rock gigs. Instances like the Circle Jerks’ appearance on the Decline of the Western Civilization I or Fear‘s noteworthy performance on Saturday Night Live might have been the mainstream’s first glimpse at the sport. Now you can’t go to see (most) concerts without seeing a mosh pit. 

    Love it or hate it, much of the fad can be attributed to the musical diversity of the 1990s. Not only was hardcore punk many stages evolved by now, but metal had also fully blossomed and gone mainstream. We also had rap-rock, grunge, industrial, and nu-metal dominating the charts. The mosh was now more than just an act of aggression. It was a movement. And stage diving and crowd surfing were now a “thing.”

    Suddenly, the pit became dangerous. People started getting hurt. like in the circle pits at Woodstock ‘99. Thrashers at Lamb of God shows. The so-called Wall of Death at Ozzfest. Parents got concerned. And then (naturally) the media got concerned.too. Today we are able to revisit these reactions on the Internet with some hindsight.

    After the jump, explore some 90s newscasts that depict a dangerous world of aggression, injury, and a mosh pit…

    Posted by Bennett Kogon | Leave a comment
    In this Motörhead video game, Lemmy thwarts enemies with his Jack Daniels-fueled bad breath!
    04.25.2017
    12:32 pm

    Topics:
    Games
    Music

    Tags:
    Lemmy Kilmister
    Motörhead
    Amiga


     
    In 1992 Kaitsu Software, in what seems to have been the only game they ever put out, released a game for the Commodore Amiga using as its protagonist the greatest and drunkest frontman in rock history, Lemmy Kilmister.

    Yes, Motörhead finally had its own video game.

    Unfortunately, Motörhead was far from a great game. It was a bit derivative and it lacked any music by Motörhead, which seems like something you’d definitely want to have. It was one of those side-scrollers where you beat up your foes as you move from panel to panel. The game was heavily inspired by Golden Axe, a popular Sega franchise that had been delighting gamers since 1989. However, the gameplay of Motörhead was pretty good and it had a healthy dose of humor to enhance the experience.
     

     
    In the game, Lemmy awakens from a bourbon-induced blackout to learn that his bandmates have been kidnapped. He has to progress through a series of music-related levels in which he must vanquish foes representing various genres (goth, country, acid house, rap, karaoke). In the “Nashville” level there’s a character who looks suspiciously like Dolly Parton, and the goth sequence, called “Enter the Morgue,” has a character who just might be mistaken for Robert Smith. Here’s an account of Lemmy’s capabilities, described by Mark Winstanley in the (mostly positive) review of the game that appeared in the January 1993 issue of Amiga Power magazine:
     

    Lemmy can punch, headbutt, swing his guitar or use halitosis attacks, always assuming he’s loaded up on cockles or Jack Daniel’s first. By collecting magical Motörhead talismans he can unleash a devastating musical chord or summon up helpful demons, ranging from a tasty lass who distracts his opponents for a bit, up to WWF’s very own ‘Undertaker’, who just plain kills everyone.


     
    It’s true: the game absolutely does literalize the metaphor of guitar-as-axe—indeed if you play the game that’s about 80% of what you’ll be doing, whacking people with a guitar. And yes, there is a feature where Lemmy knocks out his enemies by merely breathing on them! Amazing.

    Between the levels you can scoop up power-ups or something on a vehicle, which is generally a motorcycle but in one instance Lemmy is perched atop a tractor! Another time (after the karaoke level) instead of his usual “hog,” he rides a bright red motorcycle clearly based on the one in Akira.
     

    An amusing array of graphical elements from the game. My favorite bit is the “glug glug” icon which is the most Motörhead video game thing EVER.

    Interspersed between the main levels are easier minigame modules—one of them is a copy of Root Beer Tapper called “Beer Frenzy” in which Lemmy is obliged to scamper all over a barroom lapping up brewskis. Drive responsibly, kids! 

    More ‘Motörhead’ the video game, after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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