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  • ‘Punk Elegies’: Riveting late 70’s punk memoir set in the City of Angel Dust
    07.01.2015
    12:52 pm

    Topics:
    Books
    Punk

    Tags:
    Punk Elegies
    Allan MacDonell

    MacDonell's Punk Elegies Cover Art a Go-Go
     
    Memoir is a smooth sounding word that can often deliver either salacious insight or NPR-friendly whisper-soft introspection. In the hands of a writer like Allan MacDonell, you will get something that flirts with both approaches and yet ultimately is something entirely its own creation. Hence, you get a gem like Punk Elegies in your hot little hands. MacDonell, whose resume boasts writing for the seminal early punk zine, Slash to being a renaissance man/editor at Hustler, an experience that he documented in his excellent 2006 book, Prisoner of X: 20 Years in the Hole at Hustler.

    While a number of books and films have been made about various players and aspects of the late 1970’s west coast punk scene, Punk Elegies stands out from the herd. There’s the obvious draw of having the writer/narrator being someone who was there and survived to tell the tale. That’s a given, but MacDonell’s approach, always intelligent, solidly articulate and ballsy enough to paint himself in the most unflattering colors, is the true sturm und drang to snag you and keep it fresh in your mind long after you finished the last page. Klaus Kinski once said that “Virtues can be faked. Depravity is real.” Mercifully for the author, MacDonell’s journey never quite gets to red-level-Kinski’s, but the quote still fits. Nobody comes off worse than the man himself.
     
    Darby Crash on Slash cover
     
    Punk Elegies also features key peeks into the short-lived but still legendary punk scene in Los Angeles in the late 1970’s. Artists ranging from X to The Screamers to The Go-Go’s to Black Randy & the Metrosquad and more all pop up throughout the tome. All of this adds up to a beautifully written book that is one part punk culture and all parts gut-throat memoir. Allan MacDonell was nice enough to agree to some questions regarding Punk Elegies.

    How was it revisiting this part of your life for Punk Elegies? Was it pure reflection or part-exorcism?

    First off, there’s not a lot of purity in anything I’ve done, but reflection is one of my great gifts, like it is with any self-loving, self-lacerating narcissist. Long stretches of pond-staring went into mapping out Punk Elegies. I tried to clarify, for myself, what I’d been up to with all this baffling behavior. Unfortunately, none of my demons were exorcised. They’ve all made themselves more at home.

    What does LA feel like for you now? Is it still a vibrant hub of artists and misfits or more like a city of ghosts?

    For me, L.A. now feels like it’s being overrun by a massive influx of real-estate refugees from Manhattan and Brooklyn. The hilarious rise in cost of housing, the absence of available parking, the increasingly ill-mannered gamesmanship on the locked traffic grid, these are a few surface indications of a deep metaphysical congestion in this city that has choked off the ghosts. I still like it here. They haven’t squeezed me out yet.

    Have you gotten any feedback from anyone who was in your inner circle during the time period of Punk Elegies?

    Most of the feedback I’ve received has come in the form of silence. Germs drummer Don Bolles, who plays a role in Punk Elegies, gave the book a video endorsement. I only had to pressure Don slightly. The original keyboard player for the Screamers left a nine-paragraph elegy of his own in the comments of a Punk Elegies playlist I put together for Decibel.

    Are you still in touch with your first wife, Tommie, who is hugely prominent figure throughout the book?

    I’m still in touch with practically no one who is depicted in this book. Inspirational kitten memes tell me there’s no point in wishing things were different, but sometimes I do.
     
    Black Randy
     
    There are a lot of great stories about Black Randy in Punk Elegies. It’s a safe statement to say that there really was no one like him back then or even now. In a just world, he would have all the cult appeal and fandom of, say Sid Vicious or Darby Crash. What is your take now on the legacy of Randy?

    I do presume to speak through Black Randy a lot in Punk Elegies, but I wish he were around to answer this one himself. Somehow, I suspect he would object to being grouped with Sid Vicious and Darby Crash. I’m pretty sure he and Darby liked one another—Darby sang in the Metro Squad chorus at one of Randy’s live shows. But Randy operated in a separate category that included him and almost no one else. He had an acute disdain for herd mentality and smug groupthink and Halloween rebels and for self-proclaimed mavericks living out on the copy-and-paste cutting edge. In the decades since he’s been gone, it seems that fewer and fewer of these teachings of Randy are being passed down and honored. In that sense, it’s like his entire legacy is a vanishing ideal.

    Continues after the jump…

    Posted by Heather Drain | Leave a comment
    Groovalicious Peter Max fashions from 1970
    07.01.2015
    11:20 am

    Topics:
    Art
    Design
    Fashion

    Tags:
    Peter Max


     
    Of all the designers in the world, probably none are as exclusively associated with the late 1960s and early 1970s as Peter Max. His symmetrical, kaleidoscopic and highly colorful “Art Nouveau had a baby with Haight-Ashbury” approach was perfectly suited for the days of The Dick Cavett Show and Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. Alas, trendiness giveth, and trendiness taketh away—while he has never really stopped working, his work will never not be associated with that era.

    I stumbled onto this fantastic spread of Peter Max clothing that appeared in Seventeen magazine in April 1970, and they kind of blew my mind. I’m assuming that fashion-conscious people are aware of these already, but I had never seen them before. I have so many questions—were these clothes actually popular? Do they pop up in thrift stores ever, or are they just too expensive for that? Does anyone wear them today? Pics please!

    You can click on any of the full-page spreads in this post to get a much closer view—trust me, it’s worth it.
     

     

     
    More Max after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    ‘God is dead’: Piss yourself funny ‘short versions’ of Republican Presidential announcements


     
    For the past few weeks I have been emailing friends links to YouTube editing genius Vic Berger’s “trash compactor” cuts of Republican Presidential campaign announcement speeches. I have laughed myself senseless at these things. They get funnier with repeated viewings. He really knows how to highlight the absurdity of these events (like the Jeb Bush one with the guy beating his “Jeb! sticks”—what would you call ‘em?—behind the candidate. I found this screamingly funny in a Tim & Eric kinda way).

    Hard to say which is the best. They’re all different and each one is a gem. Stay with the Donald Trump clip, I thought it took a little longer to ramp up than the others did, but once it gets going, Berger takes it someplace you probably won’t expect.
     

     

     
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    Jack Nicholson and Bob Rafelson discuss the big ‘chicken salad’ scene from ‘Five Easy Pieces’


     
    Five Easy Pieces is one of the great masterpieces of the New American Cinema that stretched from 1967 to 1979 or thereabouts. Directed by Bob Rafelson (whose sole directorial feature before that was the Monkees’ trippy triumph Head) and written by Carole Eastman, the movie is practically a filmic version of Yeats’ “The Second Coming,” a prescient gleaning of bad vibes in the society at large—in September 1970, when the movie came out, no other movie was within ten miles of its grasp of the unsettled feeling that the country was going through at that moment.

    The movie has several striking set pieces that stick in the mind—Jack Nicholson’s Bobby Dupea playing piano on the back of a truck, a long hippie harangue by a hitchhiker played by Helena Kallianiotes, and so forth—the best-known scene in the movie, the one that has the highest likelihood of getting thrown into an Oscar montage, is unquestionably the diner scene in which Dupea, finding himself hassled by an irritated waitress who is intent on enforcing the eatery’s “no substitution” policy, violently sweeps his right arm across the table, upending several glasses and a few placemats.
     

    Pupi’s Combination Bakery and Sidewalk Café
     
    Criterion has just released on YouTube an interesting excerpt from the extra features of its new Blu-Ray edition of Five Easy Pieces, which was released yesterday, in which Nicholson and Rafelson discuss the origins of the scene. It turns out that Rafelson had been annoying waitresses all over the country with his (reasonable-sounding) substitution requests—indeed, still does—while Nicholson had actually pulled the table sweep at least once before:
     

    We all hung out in a coffee shop called Pupi’s up on the Strip. We were actors, so we’d go in there, sit there all day, lookin’ at people, and I came like at the end of the afternoon, and I ordered up my coffee, but they’d been there three or four hours, and I’m sipping the coffee, and Mrs. Pupi came over, and she—she took my coffee! I mean I hadn’t even—I had just got there. “You people have to get out of here” and so forth. And I said, “Oh really?” and I went like this and I just cleared the table.

     
    It seems that Carole Eastman witnessed this incident and incorporated it into her screenplay. The restaurant in question was Pupi’s Combination Bakery and Sidewalk Café, and Patrick McGilligan’s biography of Nicholson treats the incident as follows:
     

    Pupi’s is where Jack flew into one of his storied rages one night, quarreling with a waitress and threatening to kick in a pastry cart. That is the incident Carole Eastman said she drew on when she wrote the famous “no substitutions” scene for Bobby Dupea. … Maybe Jack actually did kick in the pastry cart. Or maybe he didn’t. It is one of those legends. …

     
    If nothing else, Nicholson’s account in this interview is a useful corrective for what McGilligan calls a “legend”—it wasn’t a waitress, it was Mrs. Pupi herself, and there’s no mention of a pastry cart.
     

     

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Bad motherf*ckers: Action figures from ‘Pulp Fiction,’ ‘The Shining,’ ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and more

    Alex Clockwork Orange figure by Rainman
    Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange
     
    Here’s what I know about sculptor and artist Rainman, the man responsible for the sinister as fuck action-figure of Alex from A Clockwork Orange (pictured above), and many others that are about to blow your mind. Rainman is a rather secretive cat, but according to his his Facebook page he’s based in Korea and currently works for video game giant CAPCOM (the makers of the 1987 video game Street Fighter). He studied animation at Kyungsung University, a private school in Busan, South Korea. Rainman is an accomplished painter and in 2013 he released a 500-page book called Not Afraid, which featured his conceptual artwork. He also likes Dr. Dre.

    That’s pretty much all I know about this incredibly talented man.
     
    Alex from A Clockwork Orange by Rainman
     
    As I often post about unique action figures here on DM, I knew when I found Rainman’s creations I had struck gold. That is because Rainman’s collection includes some of the most bad-ass members of cinematic history. Like Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver, Alex from A Clockwork Orange (who comes with a glass of milk and other “accessories”), Tyler Durden from Fight Club, Jack Torrance from The Shining and many, many others. In some cases, Rainman will put together what I can only describe as “play sets” for his figures. For example, one collection of figures from The Shining not only included Jack and his trusty, door-busting ax, but also Danny Torrance along with a replica of his little blue bike, the Grady Twins, and a small version of the infamous carpet from the hallways of the Overlook Hotel.

    Let’s have at look at Jack and his pals, shall we?
     
    Jack Torrance from The Shining figure by Rainman
     
    Danny Torrance and his bike figure by Rainman
     
    Danny Torrance and the Grady Twins figures by Rainman
     
    Danny Torrance (for scale) figure by Rainman
     
    While Rainman’s articulated sculptures are breathtakingly life-like, I am equally impressed by the “secret items” that he often includes with his various figures, such as a miniature version of the last book Vincent Vega ever read, Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise (included with his sculpt of John Travolta from Pulp Fiction), Jules’ “Bad Motherfucker” wallet, a teeny-tiny version of the “TIME: Man of the Year” mirror from The Big Lebowski (that comes with his “Dude” figure), and the skanky blue bathrobe that comes along with his “Fighter 1999” figure (aka, Tyler Durden from Fight Club).
     
    Miniature sculpt of Modesty Blaise by Rainman
    Miniature version of Modesty Blaise
     
    More after the jump…
     

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Early advertising for arcade games was sexy… or… at least sexual, anyway
    07.01.2015
    08:01 am

    Topics:
    Advertising
    Sex

    Tags:
    vintage
    arcade games


     
    The tireless archivists at Retrospace are truly doing the Lord’s work with their amazing library of vintage magazine scans—check out these ridiculous early arcade game ads! To be fair, video game graphics were so crude at that point, it probably felt impossible to entice potential players using only the pixels of the game itself. Still, they really had a hard time (heh) divining the erotic potential from those massive things. Some of them barely make sense—why is a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader (knock-off?) trying to sell Strike Zone? They aren’t even the same sport!

    On some level, I appreciate the crudest ones most of all, and the Shark Attack ad comes out ahead on that one. (A disembodied ass? “Thrust and Munch?” Seriously?) On the other hand, attempts to keep it classy are even more hilarious. There’s been a little moral panic around arcade games since pinball was invented. To concerned parents, all change-devouring consoles smacked of gambling and juvenile delinquency. I assume the more wholesome—dare I sat “classier?”—ads were an effort to brand video games as harmless fun. How that translates to twins in prom dresses, I do not know, but hey, I do kind of want to play Deep Scan now!
     

     

     

     

     
    Many more ‘sexy’ vintage video game ads after the jump…

    Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
    Here’s the Manson Family porn movie you’ve been waiting for
    07.01.2015
    07:13 am

    Topics:
    Movies
    Sex
    Stupid or Evil?

    Tags:
    Charles Manson
    porno


     
    Students of Internet culture know all about “Rule 34.” Rule 34 is an adage which asserts that “if something exists, there is porn of it.” 

    We can now add Charles Manson and his “family” to the list of things we didn’t expect to see given the porn treatment, but HERE WE ARE.

    Adult Video News recently reported on the release of Manson Family XXX, an adult film directed by Will Ryder.
     

     
    A TMZ report from last year reveals that Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra Tate, called Manson Family XXX “the lowest of lows” and vowed to sue the producers if they dared use Sharon’s name or likeness. As the film falls under the umbrella of “parody,” it is protected speech. Tasteless, but nevertheless protected.

    Director Will Ryder stated, “The timing couldn’t be more perfect and we’ve had to put the brakes on this release for a while now due to certain legal challenges that I don’t want to talk about, but NBC is paving the way for us to have a summer blockbuster,” referring to NBC’s recently-premiered Aquarius, a “historical fiction” program based on the events surrounding the Manson Family.

    Director, Ryder, claims his film explores “hippie love and intense sexual acts that took place at the Spahn Ranch near Los Angeles back in the late 1960s.”

    “We actually shot much of our movie on that very land,” Ryder said.
     

     
    Ryder added that his movie is a parody and “not sponsored, endorsed or affiliated with Charles Manson or any members of the Manson Family, the victims, the LAPD, Vincent Bugliosi or the Los Angeles district attorney’s office, NBC Universal or any distributors, actors, producers, writers, publishers, their estates or assignees.”

    Best to cover your bases.

    We have to admit, the scenes in the trailer seem like they could kinda be historically accurate. Group sex and heavy drug use were undoubtedly facts of “family life” on the Spahn Ranch.
     

     
    Ryder seems to have at least convinced himself that his parody porn is a tasteful historical document of the Family:

    I have to make myself clear that I am in no way glorifying murder and neither is NBC Television or any of the other mainstream production companies that are in production on Manson related projects.

    We are telling parts of the Manson Family folklore just like the writers and producers of dozens of books, movies and television documentaries have told over the years. We’re just going to see them completely naked participating in all kinds of sexual exploration including wild animalistic group sex.

    Here’s the pretty-much-safe-for-work trailer for “Manson Family XXX”:

    H/T Adult Video News and Die-Screaming.com

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
    Dangerous Finds: Journey drummer charged with rape; ‘Snowden’ trailer; Atheists remind us of death
    06.30.2015
    05:22 pm

    Topics:
    Current Events

    Tags:
    Dangerous Finds


     
    Journey drummer Deen Castronovo ‘charged with rape’ after being arrested following altercation with wife: The musician has had more charges added after being arrested for a domestic violence-related incident earlier this month. (Mirror)

    ‘The poor, the young, the black and the stupid’: Inside Big Tobacco’s plans to kill a billion people. (Pando)

    Trump near top of the Republican pack in Michigan: This is getting better and better by the day. (Public Policy Polling)

    Atheists Remind People of Death: New research shows that atheists trigger death-related thoughts, which can cause some people to cling even more tightly to their religious values. (Smithsonian)

    US military teams up with British company to create hoverbike technology: The US Department of Defense has joined forces with Britain’s Malloy Aeronautics to develop flying motorcycles as military reconnaissance vehicles. Flying motorcycles! (BT.com)

    9,500 expected at Wisconsin rally for Bernie Sanders: Sanders says he believes the progressive movement that existed for years in Wisconsin is now spreading throughout the country. (Fox News)

    Who thought that an #AskBobby Jindal Twitter dialogue would be a good idea? “When you disband the Supreme Court for disagreeing with you, will the Koch brothers buy you another?” (Salon)

    Phyllis Schlafly Proposes Congressional Resolution Affirming The Dignity Of Straight People: She has a proposal for Congress: Pass a resolution affirming the “dignity of opposite-sex married couples,” especially that of couples where “a provider-husband is the principal breadwinner and his wife is dedicated to the job of homemaker.” She’s 90 now. Bless. (Right Wing Watch)

    Cop Resigns After Being Arrested on Battery Charges For Pepper-Spraying an Infant Girl: Charles Edelen pepper-sprayed the baby during a domestic dispute involving his estranged wife. (Alternet)

    The Saddest Story You Will Ever Read About Keith Urban: If you enjoy people vastly overestimating the size of their own celebrity, you will enjoy it. (Defamer)

    Curing the Redneck Mindset: When right-wing revolutionaries burn up churches—why aren’t we asking where are the fathers? (Alternet)

    Buy a Bernie shirt. (Bernie 2016)

    Our outrage over China’s Yulin dog meat festival exposes a disgusting hypocrisy: “What really matters is the ability to suffer and feel pain. In those respects, scientists agree, the animals we love and the animals we eat are all the same.” (New York Daily News)

    The first trailer for Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ biopic with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Out this Christmas:

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    The Satanic Temple of Detroit debuts massive one-ton Baphomet monument
    06.30.2015
    03:16 pm

    Topics:
    Occult

    Tags:
    Satanism

    The Satanic Temple of Detroit's Bahomet momument
    The Satanic Temple of Detroit’s new Baphomet momument
     
    If you were not already aware, Detroit, Michigan is the home to the very first national chapter house of The Satanic Temple. Late yesterday, TST released the first photos of a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet that they hope to display at the State Capitol in Oklahoma.
     
    If you’re wondering why The Satanic Temple is hoping to house the titanic sculpture of Baphomet in Oklahoma’s State Capitol, let me clear that up for you. Although they have yet to be granted permission (and promise to sue the state if request is denied), TST wants Baphomet to sit next to the six-foot tall Ten Commandments statue (built with the help of “private” funding), that has stood on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol since 2012. Coincidently, said statue was smashed up in 2014 by a guy who said he was acting on “Satan’s” orders. The statue was then restored and returned to its original spot at the Capitol. However, in an interesting turn of events late today, it looks like the controversial statue’s days are indeed numbered
     
    Smashed up Ten Commandments statue in Oklahoma
    Satan says SMASH!
     
    In a decisive 7-2 decision, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the Ten Commandments statue must be removed as it violates the state’s constitutional ban on the use of public property for the benefit of a religion. While this decision does not bode well for TST, it will be interesting to see how this one shakes out given Oklahoma’s highly conservative constituency. I also wouldn’t be surprised if TST starts looking for a new home for Baphomet. Still, I think it’s safe to say that times are indeed changing in this country. And fast.
     
    The massive statue will be officially unveiled on July 25th at a rather un-satanic sounding spot called Bert’s Warehouse Theater in Detroit, with entertainment provided by DJ William Morrison of Skinny Puppy/OhGr related infamy. Attendance is open to the public and tickets to the event will cost you $25 bucks. VIP tickets will run you $75 and include your very own photo with Baphomet. Dressing to impress satan is also highly encouraged. Nice.
     
    Bahomet momument party invitation

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Hidden camera: Watch what children do when they find a ‘gun’ at the playground
    06.30.2015
    11:22 am

    Topics:
    Current Events

    Tags:
    guns


     
    I’m on the fence with this one. Hollywood glorifies gun use so much, you can’t blame what the kids do when they find one (the gun is very realistic-looking prop, btw). The kids are just acting out what they see in movies and TV shows. You know, it’s what you’re supposed to do with a gun. But at the same time, it’s the parents responsibility to teach kids that if you find something like this perhaps the best thing to do is report it to an adult or an authority figure.

    Only one child showed his mother the gun he found. Sadly, the first thing he asked her to do was “Pull it.”

    I must admit I got a little queasy feeling with that one kid flashing the gun around in the air and trying to pull the trigger.

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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