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  • Beyond the Valley of the Lurid Exploitation Film Posters of the 50s, 60s & 70s
    04:16 pm



    Night Tide

    A Lovecraftian poster for an odd 1960s mermaid thriller starring Dennis Hopper with a freaky cameo appearance by Marjorie Cameron, the bohemian witch of Los Angeles.

    This is a sampling from a private collection of rare, massive 40” x 60” posters that were printed on cardstock for drive-In movie theaters.  More posters and related merchandise are online at (“Archeaologists of the Strange”).  All are for sale at auction until February 8, when the bidding closes.

    Haute Campe offers a collection of original rare, vintage film posters from the 1940s-1970s originating mostly from drive-ins and grindhouse theaters. Most of the posters went through a single distributor called National Screen Service, hence the “property of N.S.S.” at the bottom of 99% of the movie posters printed in the 20th century!  While many posters were destroyed by the elements and others were pulled off the wall by collectors, a great many returned to the distributor’s archives and piled up for many many years. 

    We were fortunate enough to be able to acquire a large part of the archives and the treasures were fantastic, including rarely-seen posters that were for small run promotions and exceedingly impossible to find sizes like the gorgeous and massive 40” x 60” silkscreens created for drive-in movie theaters.

    This is a selection from the latter part of the alphabet. You can see A to N at an earlier post here.

    Ordered to Love

    An American distributor purchased a historical film and repackaged it as a Nazisploitation thrill; the fact that the movie was years old at this point was sold to the audience as the film having been “censored until now!”

    Please, Not Now!

    A towel-clad Brigitte Bardot stuns in this incredible 1961 Pop Art poster.

    Rasputin the Mad Monk/The Reptile

    A giant poster advertising a 1966 Hammer double-feature where theatergoers would get their own Rasputin beard!

    Runaway Daughters
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    ‘Mind Parasites’: The William S. Burroughs / Buzzcocks connection
    12:34 pm


    William S. Burroughs

    A Burroughsian post for you all on the 102nd anniversary of William S. Burroughs’ birth…

    “A Different Kind of Tension,” the antepenultimate song on the Buzzcocks’ album of the same name, can be hilarious or punishing, depending on the circumstances. Pete Shelley’s lyrics are a series of contradictory commands that alternate between your stereo speakers, coming faster and faster with each verse, and pretty soon, Shelley is simultaneously shouting “live” in your left ear and “die” in your right. On a lazy afternoon, it’s enough to make peach Cisco squirt from your nose, but in bumper-to-bumper traffic, you’re liable to start looking around for the Budd Dwyer exit.

    Wikipedia claims that the song quotes William S. Burroughs, but that’s not quite right: it’s more a rewrite of Burroughs’ text than a quotation. Shelley, after all, is credited as the sole author of “A Different Kind of Tension,” whose lyrics are printed in parallel columns on the record’s three-color sleeve:

    Wait here - Go there
    Come in - Stay out
    Be yourself - Be someone else
    Obey the law - Break the law

    Be ambitious - Be modest
    Plan ahead - Be spontaneous
    Decide for yourself - Listen to others
    Save money - Spend money

    Be good - Be evil
    Be wise - Be foolish
    Be safe - Be dangerous
    Be satisfied - Be envious
    Be honest - Be deceitful
    Be faithful - Be perfidious
    Be sane - Be mad
    Be strong - Be weak
    Be enigmatic - Be plain
    Be aggressive - Be peaceful
    Be brave - Be timid
    Be humane - Be cruel
    Be critical - Be appreciative
    Be temperamental - Calm
    Be sad - Be happy
    Be normal - Be unusual

    Stop - Go
    Live - Die
    Yes - No
    Rebel - Submit
    Right - Wrong
    Sit down - Stand up
    Create - Destroy
    Accept - Reject
    Talk - Silence
    Speed up - Slow down
    This way - That way
    Right - Left
    Present - Absent
    Open - Closed
    Entrance - Exit
    Believe - Doubt

    Truth - Lies
    Escape - Meet
    Love - Hate
    Thank you - Flunk [actually “Fuck you”]
    Clarify - Pollute
    Simple - Complex
    Nothing - Something
    Stop - Go
    Live - Die
    Yes - No
    Rebel - Submit
    Right - Wrong
    Sit down - Stand up
    Create - Destroy
    Accept - Reject
    Talk - Silence


    A 1969 review of The Mind Parasites by William “Borroughs” (larger)
    The Buzzcocks had a thing for magazine reviews; they took their name from the last line of a review of the TV series Rock Follies (“Get a buzz, cock”), and, if memory serves, the phrase “a different kind of tension” itself comes from Jon Savage’s review of Love Bites in Sounds. For the sake of consistency, I’d like to think Shelley spotted Burroughs’ list of incompatible injunctions in the author’s 1969 review of Colin Wilson’s The Mind Parasites, which first ran in a New York underground newspaper called Rat and was reprinted that year in John Keel’s Anomaly. But Shelley is just as likely to have encountered Burroughs’ list in the CONTROL section of 1974’s The Job, or some other place Burroughs might have recontextualized these do’s and don’ts:

    Stop. Go. Wait here. Go there. Come in. Stay out. Be a man. Be a woman. Be white. Be black. Live. Die. Yes. No. Do it now. Do it later. Be your real self. Be somebody else. Fight. Submit. Right. Wrong. Make a splendid impression. Make an awful impression. Sit down. Stand up. Take your hat off. Put your hat on. Create. Destroy. React. Ignore. Live now. Live in the past. Live in the future. Be ambitious. Be modest. Accept. Reject. Do more. Do less. Plan ahead. Be spontaneous. Decide for yourself. Listen to others. Talk. Be silent. Save money. Spend money. Speed up. Slow down. This way. That way. Right. Left. Present. Absent. Open. Closed. Up. Down. Enter. Exit. In. Out.


    This isn’t quite “Choose life” from Trainspotting, if that’s what you’re thinking. Far from complaining about the modern world’s banality like Steve Martin’s Beat poet on Saturday Night Live (“Oh, Mr. Commuter! / Wash me not in your Mad Ave. paint-by-numbers soap…”), Burroughs was giving his readers detailed instructions in piercing the tedium of everyday life with “a technique for producing events and directing thought on a mass scale [that] is available to anyone with a portable tape recorder.” Burroughs goes on to explain in his Mind Parasites review how the “waking suggestion” technique of Dr. John Dent, whose apomorphine cure for heroin addiction he advocated, can be used for mind control:

    These commands are constantly being imposed by the environment of modern life. If the suggestion tape contains the right phraseology, and listeners hear it in the right situation (while doing something else), they will be forced to obey the suggestion. It is like giving someone a sleeping pill, without his knowledge, and then suggesting sleep.

    At the unconscious level, any contradictory suggestion produces a brief moment of disorientation, during which the suggestions take place. This is important to remember because this is something you can – in a pinch – employ yourself. (Con artists, spies, military strategists, and social climbers use such diversions to their advantage. Why can’t you?)

    This moment of disorientation is not unknown to the human body, because contradictory suggestions are an integral function of human metabolism: “Sweat. Stop sweating. Salivate. Stop salivating. Pour adrenaline into the bloodstream. Counteract adrenaline with epinephrine.”

    Since contradictory commands are enforced by the environment and the human body, contradictory commands are especially effective. All tape recording tricks are useful: speed up, slow down, overlay, run contradictory commands simultaneously, add superfluous “echo” recordings for large spaces, etc.

    Continues after the jump…

    Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
    What the hell is this ad even trying to communicate?
    12:17 pm



    Advertising is supposed to be a creative endeavor for creative people. People who are so creative that they’re actually called “Creatives” professionally. What they actually do isn’t merely described as creative (an adjective), creative is also used as a noun (as in the creative.) They’re creative folks, these Creatives who are creating this (supposedly) creative creative. Got it?

    Or are these Creatives really creating such creative creative, after all? As anyone who has ever toiled away in the trenches of the creative field (raises hand, ashamed) can tell you, there is precious little actual creativity that goes on in the advertising industry. Why? Because of the Creatives. Their creative is seldom very creative. The dirty secret of today’s Madison Avenue—listen up, all you would-be Don Drapers—is that creating actually creative creative (on the part of the Creatives, I mean) is frowned upon by the people upstairs. Decisions need to be justified up a chain of command—and clever ideas get hammered into bland, fuckstick shitty ones as the creative moves along the assembly line of the corporate “creative process” (and yes, those are ironic quotation marks).

    At the top of the Creatives salary range is usually someone so exasperatingly stupid and ridiculously out of touch that you just want to scream. This absurd corporate clown who wants the soundtrack to be “one of those great old Motown songs!” and thinks that this is an original idea or who wants to scrap something that’s already been shot and edited because “the Moon here looks too much like a 1970s-style moon.” It might be the actual Moon in the sky that this salary-justifying executive plonker is talking about, but this is the level of upper level Creative one tends to encounter in a career spent eating shit, smiling and saying how good that yummy shit tastes. You play it safe if you want to stay employed and keep sucking at the teat of the Capitalist system. It’s much easier that way, bucko. Wise up! It’s not your “art” and who the fuck cares anyway if every bit of everything that was good gets squeezed out of the Motown catalog to successfully advertise Kellogg’s Raisin Bran?

    This is why most advertising SUCKS. This is why most people simply tune ads out. Ad blockers? I don’t need no stinking ad blocker! I got me an ad blocker right here in my head, baby!

    But where was I? Oh fuck it. Here’s another fucking ad. But a very creative one. I think you’ll like it.

    At the very end they tell you what the actual service or product is or does, but I don’t want to spoil the fun for you.


    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    If you haven’t seen this, you don’t know what you’ve missed: The Small Faces on ‘Colour Me Pop’ 1968

    Never trust management. Never trust your PR firm. Never trust admen. Never trust anyone who says they can manage you, promote you, your band, your career, or anything else they’ll swear they can do for you out the love they have for your talents. The history of pop music is littered with fuck-ups by gangster management and public relations parasites who are only interested in making money out of somebody else’s efforts.

    Take The Small Faces. Their first manager Don Arden helped them on their way but also claimed a massive percentage of the band’s earnings—some say as high as 80%.

    After a series of hit records (including number ones) and sell-out gigs, the band—Steve Marriott (vocals, guitar), Ronnie Lane (vocals, bass), Kenney Jones (drums), Ian McLagan (keyboards)—were still living off a pitiful weekly handout from Arden (the father of Sharon Osbourne, FYI). The band’s parents were so concerned that their kids were being ripped off that they paid Arden a visit to ask what the fuck was going on? It put the wind up in Arden. He blamed the kids. Told the parents the band had spent all their money on pills and drugs. The implication being “Your kids are bloody junkies and I’m the one who’s paying for it!”

    While The Small Faces admittedly dabbled with speed and pills—their single “Here Comes The Nice” extols Marriott’s unabashed love for amphetamine, and “Itchycoo Park” was inspired by Lane’s enjoyment of LSD—they were certainly never smackheads. Arden, like Donald Trump, was well aware that the first rule of defense is attack.

    Arden would justify his action by claiming he was only trying to get back the $20,000+ he had spent on buying up as many copies of their debut single as it took to ensure it was a hit. Apparently Arden thought he deserved the money for all of his initial outlay and then some.

    The band was keeping Arden sweet and he was not going to let them go. When rival producer/manager Robert Stigwood tried to lever the band away from him, a bunch of heavies turned up at Stigwood’s office and threatened to hang him out of the window if he didn’t fuck off.

    However, the parents proved to be a bigger threat than rival managers. After the parental intervention, The Small Faces split with Arden and signed-up with former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. In many respects it was a better deal—they had more freedom and more studio time which allowed them to produce their greatest album Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake (1968). But the financial returns—well they were only slightly better.

    And as for the PR side…
    When The Small Faces’ released Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake in May 1968 it was oddly promoted with a parody of the Lord’s Prayer:

    Small Faces
    Which were in the studios
    Hallowed by thy name
    Thy music come
    Thy songs be sung
    On this album as they came from your heads
    We give you this day our daily bread
    Give us thy album in a round cover as we give thee 37/9d.,
    Lead us into the record stores.
    And deliver us Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake
    For nice is the music
    The sleeve and the story
    For ever and ever, Immediate.

    At time when the majority of the UK identified as Christian and the churches were packed every Sunday, and the views of Archbishops were considered more important than those of politicians—as they dealt with the life hereafter, not just the here and now—the ad was understandably considered blasphemous.

    Across the breakfast rooms of England, cups and saucers were rattled in disgust. The press ran BANNER HEADLINES OF SHOCK! AND HORROR! and angry missives sent from Tunbridge Wells, Slough and Lower Perineum filled the letters pages. It certainly was a rum way to pitch a psychedelic concept album. Steve Marriott was equally surprised by the ad:

    We didn’t know a thing about the ad, until we saw it in the music papers. And frankly we got the horrors at first. We realised that it could be taken as a serious knock against religion. But on thinking it over, we don’t feel it is particularly good or bad. It’s just another form of advertising. We’re not all that concerned about it. We’re more concerned in writing our music and producing our records.

    It was not as damaging as say John Lennon’s claim that the Beatles were bigger than Christ (though let’s be clear: that outburst actually helped sell more Beatles albums in the US, as protesters bought copies just to burn ‘em). Or as damagingly litigious as The Move’s management putting out an advertizing postcard of then Prime Minister Harold Wilson in bed with his secretary Marcia Williams for the single “Flowers in the Rain”—which led to them being sued and band’s songwriter Roy Wood losing all of his royalties in perpetuity for the hit. But the Lord’s Prayer advert did The Small Faces no real favors. If anything, it was another stumbling block to them ever making it in the States. The album made number one in the UK but only edged the top 200 in the US.

    More about The Small Faces, plus their appearance on ‘Colour Me Pop,’ after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    Explore ‘unconventional sex’ with spiritual rockers Lightstorm and their ‘Missionary is Impossible’
    10:46 am



    Lightstorm (a/k/a Teeth)
    For nearly 50 years, Johnima and Kalassu Wintergate have been the husband and wife team behind the rock band Lightstorm. The unit has always had a split personality, with major stylistic differences in both their lyrics and their music. As a result, they’ve recorded and performed under a variety of other monikers, including One, 33 1/3, and Teeth. Drag City Records (in partnership with Yoga Records) is about to release the first-ever compilation showcasing the yin-yang of Lightstorm.
    Lightstorm, c. late 1960s
    The group formed in Los Angeles in the late ‘60s, touring the world over. In 1972, they issued their first album, Warning (under the name Lite Storm). As they continued to tour and release records, members would come and go, with Johnima (lead vocals, guitar) and Kalassu (lead vocals, keyboards) the sole mainstays. Regardless of whatever musical mode they happen to be in, their message has always been driven by their belief in spiritual truth and unconditional love. 
    Johnima and Kalassu
    In the late ‘70s, the Wintergates decided to give filmmaking a try, writing a script and starring in their own movie. Johnima, who had some movie production experience, directed the picture, which was shot on video in 1981. The result was the 1982 horror-comedy, BoardingHouse, a gory, perplexing, and super-entertaining flick that must been seen to be believed. It has the distinction of being the first shot-on-video (SOV) horror feature to be blown-up to 35mm and shown in theaters. BoardingHouse has since developed a cult following, with the most recent DVD edition a celebration of its 30th anniversary.
    Drag City/Yoga’s Lightstorm compilation, Creation, comes out February 19th on vinyl and digital formats. The collection draws from Creation Earth: Who Am I—released in 1977 as One—a highly spiritual double album reflecting their taste for the lighter side of psychedelic rock; and the self-titled 33 1/3 LP from 1980, a record that explores their carnal side, lyrically, while embracing the musical approaches of new wave, punk, post-punk, and hard rock, resulting in a style that’s completely uncompromising and totally awesome.
    33 1/3
    The absolute highlight of the entire set is the 33 1/3-era track extolling the virtues of unconventional sex, “Missionary is Impossible.” Kalassu’s vocals, initially breathy and confessional, shift between snotty, sultry, and defiant tones, as the music progresses through various stylistic changes, punctuated by Johnima’s chugging guitar riffs and loud, distorted chords that hang in the air. The track ends with an incongruous vocal refrain that sounds like it was shouted from the heavens.

    More Lightstorm after the jump…

    Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
    Watch this essential Björk documentary from 1997
    10:38 am



    In 1997 The South Bank Show produced an hour-long documentary on Björk, who of course was right in the middle of an impressive run during which she established herself as a global pop star and icon of the first order.

    The program is divided up into two parts. The first half is a straightforward account of Björk’s life up to 1997, including her solo album at the age of 11, her teenage work with Tappi Tíkarrass and KUKL, her breakthrough success with the Sugarcubes, and her initial success under her own name, also covering extensively her relationship to her native Iceland.

    The second half shows Björk recording her third album Homogenic in southern Spain with Eumir Deodato.

    There an interesting bit on the success of the Sugarcubes, which both Einar Örn and Björk herself seem to agree was probably not such a good thing. According to Björk, it may have had an adverse effect on the literary development of Iceland:

    Two or even three of the Sugarcubes were probably the most promising poets or writers of Iceland’s new generation. And they were finding themselves… They hadn’t written a letter for two years… because they were doing soundchecks in like Texas and Alabama and playing doing guitar solos. Which is kinda funny. I mean, it is funny. But it’s only funny for so long, you know.

    Whoever put this together did an excellent job of showcasing what makes Björk so special. There’s a bit in the first half where she stands next to a fellow playing a harpsichord and belts out “Unravel.” Bono calls her “the Imelda Marcos of good ideas.” In Spain we see her lay down a big chunk of the vocals for “Jóga,” which is kind of amazing.


    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Badass cat motorcycle helmets from Russia
    10:08 am



    I never saw myself writing “badass” and “cat” in the same sentence, but these are some seriously cool cat motorcycle helmets straight out of Russia. I dig the one that looks like an extra evil Cheshire Cat with that devilish grin. That helmet looks like it ain’t gonna take no shit.

    The Neko helmets come in 12 different designs and are made by Russian company Nitrinos. The prices can range anywhere from $495 to $595 depending on which style you want.

    I’m sure these things have been crash tested, but I wonder how the impact with the ears on the helmet affect the human skull? Is it safe? Perhaps I’m overthinking this?



    More after the jump…

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Dear Internet, please find Terence McKenna’s appearance on LAPD Chief Daryl Gates’ radio show
    09:32 am


    Terence McKenna
    Daryl Gates

    Daryl Gates on the mike at KFI-AM
    There was a note of delight in arch-psychonaut Terence McKenna’s voice as he read out this question from the audience after a 1993 talk at UC Santa Cruz:

    Well, let’s see here… “Recently you appeared on talk radio with L.A. police chief Daryl Gates. What was the inside story, and do you feel you were heard by him?”

    Well, yes—I won’t give this too much time—I did appear with Daryl Gates on his radio show. Clearly, they’re desperate to raise ratings—they’ll do almost anything at this point—and Daryl Gates was a pussycat. Very easily intimidated by… I mean, I make no great claims in this area, but intelligence. He completely folded in the presence of, you know, academic calm, big words, citation, that sort of thing.

    If you don’t remember Daryl Gates, he was a real nice guy. At a 1990 Senate hearing, the LAPD chief announced that casual drug users—not traffickers, not dealers, but those “who blast some pot on a regular basis”—were guilty of “treason” in the war on drugs and “ought to be taken out and shot.” A few years later, when the program director from KFI, the right-wing talk station that broadcast The Daryl Gates Show, told the ex-chief over breakfast that the station wouldn’t be renewing his contract, Gates “leaned on the table and with his fingers made a gun. He put them in my face and said, ‘I’m going to get you.’” Super nice guy. If you like Ethan Couch, George Zimmerman, Martin Shkreli and Jason Van Dyke, you’ll love Daryl Gates.

    Not a big Germs fan, Daryl Gates. Around 1980, the police chief sent The Decline Of Western Civilization director Penelope Spheeris a letter “requesting that [she] not show the film ever again in Los Angeles.” Nor was music a fan of Daryl. At one end of Gates’ tenure as chief, which extended, roughly, from the punk era to the L.A. riots, Black Flag lampooned him in their local radio ads; at the other, Ice-T gave him a personal shout out in Body Count’s “Cop Killer,” just to say “hi.” (And I always suspected that “hit the gates” in Ice-T’s “Escape from the Killing Fields” had a double meaning.) Race relations? Not Gates’ bag. When he died in 2010, the opinion pages of the Los Angeles Times remembered him as “a tough-talking spokesman for fearful, tradition-bound white Americans” who “found himself locked in bitter combat with the city’s African American community.”

    And if some aging hippie tape trader out there would just do the right thing, you could be listening to this fucker discuss Timewave Zero with the apostle of the DMT elves right now.

    Continues after the jump…

    Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
    The Young Ones, Ab Fab, Einstein and more, recreated with LEGO

    The Young Ones
    I’m not huge fan of LEGO, but every once in awhile I do come across some LEGO minifigures that make me smile. These The Young Ones minifigures by Etsy shop Glinda the Geek do the job quite nicely. They’re kind of adorable, right?

    Not only is there The Young Ones, but there’s also Edina and Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous, Jane and Blanche from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein and Charles Dickens.

    There are more LEGO minifigures at Glinda the Geek‘s shop, I just picked the ones I liked best.

    The Young Ones

    What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Martin Sharp’s psychedelic tarot cards from 1967
    02:43 pm


    Martin Sharp


    Martin Sharp was an incredibly important figure in the development of the psychedelic aesthetic in the 1960s. He was an artist from Australia and from 1963 to 1965 he was the art director for Richard Neville’s influential underground newspaper, which was called OZ Magazine. In 1966 Sharp moved to London and a year later began working for the London version of OZ, which lasted until 1973.

    In addition to his many, many artworks that appeared in OZ, Sharp pursued his own art, and he also designed two extremely influential album covers for Cream (Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire) as well as the first Ginger Baker’s Air Force album. He also co-wrote the Cream song “Tales of Brave Ulysses.”

    Issue #4 of the London incarnation of OZ came out in June 1967, and it featured a large spread containing a full tarot deck by Martin Sharp. The spread looked like this (click the picture for a larger view):

    Here are all of the cards followed by the text that goes along with the set, in case you should find the text hard to read.

    1. The Magician (or Juggler)
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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