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  • Pulp’s witty program for the ‘His ‘n’ Hers’ tour
    12:42 pm



    It’s an oversimplification to say that Pulp hit the big time in 1995, but it will always seem to be so because of the international success of the album Different Class and especially the single “Common People,” frequently cited as one of the decade’s best songs (in 2010, for instance, Pitchfork somewhat perversely placed it at #2 behind Pavement’s “Gold Soundz”). But by that time Jarvis and Co. had been slugging it out for in excess of 15 years, with four albums and who knows how many gigs on its ledger. Just a year earlier, His ‘n’ Hers made a significant splash, reaching #9 on the U.K. charts and narrowly failing to outpace Elegant Slumming by M People (right, them) for the 1994 Mercury Music Prize (weirdly, Different Class wasn’t even nominated for 1995).

    In other words, if Different Class was Pulp’s Thriller, then His ‘n’ Hers was its Off the Wall. Now Pulp has never been quick to bless the United States with a surplus of live dates, but they did support His ‘n’ Hers with eight North American dates in 1994 opening for Blur, who were in the middle of a genre-defining apotheosis all their own, although still a year away from a hugely overhyped feud with some Manchester band whose name I cannot currently recall.

    That was in fact Pulp’s first foray into North America, and those residents of Boston, Atlanta, New Orleans, etc., who made it to the gigs were treated with an opportunity to purchase a Pulp tour program spanning 100 pages positively bursting with clever-clever content of a certain kind.

    I’ll let you peruse some of the pages below, but not before presenting this typical .... well, let’s call it a “blurb,” which is credited to Melody Maker (the original list, which was actually a a review of a Paris gig, was originally quite a bit longer and was written by David Bennun).


    A. Pulp understand the minutiae of our dreary little lives.
    B. “Babies” sounds like kinky sex doom disco.
    C. Pulp are unique and brilliant. This is almost unheard of.
    D. Jarvis Cocker is a truly bizarre frontman.
    E. Pulp are a very good live band.
    F. Pulp are a very good live band.
    G. Jarvis writes lyrics like “Hey! You in the jesus sandals, would you like to come over and watch some vandals smashing up someone’s home?”
    H. That’s enough.

    The lyric quoted in G are from “Joyriders,” the first track of His ‘n’ Hers. Plenty of similar wit to be found below, especially in the “Catchphrases” slot.
    See scans from the program, right after the jump…...

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    ‘Posers’: Vintage doc takes a stroll down the King’s Rd. looking for New Romantics, 1981
    12:35 pm

    Pop Culture


    The Blitz Club where the Eighties were invented.
    Punk was boring. Punk was dead. Punk stopped being interesting when it became chart music. In its place came New Wave—which was really just more of the same played with jangly guitars by bands with a taste for Sixties music. The next really big thing was the utter antithesis of punk. Elitist, pretentious, preening, vain, camp yet utterly inventive.

    It was called “the cult with no name”—because nobody knew what to call it. It didn’t fit any easy categorization. There were soul boys, punks, rockabillies, with a taste for dance music and electronica all in the mix. It was the press who eventually pitched up with the tag New Romantics which stuck.

    I was never quite sure what was supposed to be romantic about the New Romantics. They weren’t starving in garrets or brokenhearted, writing poetry, indulging in absinthe or committing suicide by the dozen. They were all dolled-up to the nines, flaunting it out on the streets—demanding to be seen.

    It had all started with Rusty Egan and Steve Strange running a club night playing Bowie, Roxy Music and Kraftwerk at a venue called Billy’s in 1978.

    Egan was a drummer and DJ. He was in a band with ex-Sex Pistol Glen Matlock called Rich Kids which featured Midge Ure on vocals.
    Strange had been inspired to move to London and form a punk band after he saw the Sex Pistols in concert. He moved out of Wales and formed The Moors Murderers. The band included punk icon Soo Catwoman, guitarist Chrissie Hynde and Clash drummer Topper Headon. Together they recorded one notorious single “Free Hindley.”

    The same year, Egan, Strange and Ure formed Visage—which was to become a catalyst for the New Romantics in 1980 with their hit single “Fade to Grey.”
    Visage: Steve Strange, Midge Ure and Rusty Egan in 1978.
    But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, so let’s be kind and rewind.

    1978: Egan and Strange move their club night to a wine bar-cum-restaurant-cum-dance-club called the Blitz. Egan was the DJ. Strange was on the door. Strange has a strict door policy. No one gets in unless they dressed like superstars.

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    The best worst metal song you’re gonna hear today
    09:02 am



    I had to think twice about posting this Maelstrom Vale song because it’s kinda like shooting fish in a barrel to hold a video like this up for mockery—it’s just too easy, and I’m not really that mean.

    I reconsidered, though, when I realized that I actually sort of love this track and its accompanying video clip, and I think some of our readers might also get the same sort of perverse enjoyment out of it. I love this in the same way that I love The Shaggs or Wesley Willis, or the movies Dangerous Men or The Room—it’s not because the product is simply out-and-out laughably bad, but because its heart is in the right place and it’s rather charming in it’s ineptitude.

    Bless their hearts, they’re trying.

    One thing I can say for the “Doomed Traveler” video here is that I’ve watched this thing about ten times, which is about 9.5 times more than I watch most YouTube videos of new metal bands. There’s something to be said for making something interesting over something technically proficient. And this video is, if nothing else, interesting.

    At times when watching you may ask yourself “can this possibly be for real?”—and the answer is “yes,” Maelstrom Vale is a “real” band (from Canada, if that counts as “real”). Here’s their Facebook page.

    Count here with me, the most epic moments of “Doomed Traveler”:

    0:05 First off, let’s consider this double-bass. It’s the foundation of everything wrong/right with the track.

    0:14 The “foreboding” spoken intro.

    0:20 Almost nails that guitar lick.

    0:43 Death hanging out at the Metal dumpster. It’s a metaphor for the song itself.

    1:00 The bass player’s “melodic” vocals.

    1:27 Turn to the left, turn to the right!

    2:15 This guy again.

    2:25 Chocolate-milk-mustache dirtbag pleads with death near the fuse-box at the warehouse where someone in the band obviously works.

    2:41 That head-bob.

    3:05 Holmes is straight up channeling Greg Ginn here.

    3:31 The bass player gets a bit worn out, needs a break.

    4:10 Dual vocal attack!

    4:44 “THE LIES!”

    5:06 P.S.A. from Maelstrom Vale.

    After the jump, the best worst metal song you’ll hear all day…

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
    Van Halen wanted to crush a Volkswagen Beetle with a tank in 1979… just to piss off Aerosmith
    08:59 am



    Van Halen on top of a Sherman tank at the CaliFFornia World Music Festival in LA, 1979.
    Today’s rock and roll history lesson comes courtesy of David Lee Roth’s highly entertaining 2000 autobiography Crazy From the Heat in which DLR recalls the details about the time VH rented a Sherman tank so they could destroy a vintage VW Bug—all to spite Aerosmith. According to Roth the occasion would mark the last time that he would ever speak to Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the rest of the boys in Aerosmith. Say what you want about Aerosmith but if you’ve got Boston blood flowing through your veins then you also know how to hold a wicked long-term grudge, pal.

    Van Halen at the CaliFFornia World Music Festival, 1979.
    The story goes that back in 1979 were a part of the CaliFFornia World Music Festival held at the LA Coliseum and on the second night of the two-day festival Van Halen was co-headlining the gig with Aerosmith—who would to on to temporarly implode six-months later after the release of their sixth record Night in the Ruts (or as we called it back in the day in Boston “Right in the Nuts”). In an effort to one-up Aerosmith, the troublemakers in Van Halen cooked up a plan that involved renting a Sherman tank from a local Hollywood prop shop and the purchase of a couple of yellow VW Beetles. The idea was that announcements made over the Coliseum’s PA system would lay the groundwork for folks to think that one of the members of Aerosmith parked the Bug illegally and were asking for it to be moved. The “punchline” in all this excessive craziness was that the tank would roll out just as Van Halen took the stage, crushing the Bug to bits. Sadly someone in VH’s camp must have been a Boston native because Aerosmith caught wind of Van Halen’s shenanigans and had already come up with a plan of their own to one-up the tank gag and VH aborted their awesome caper.

    Since Van Halen does not fuck around when it comes to fucking around they actually tested out the prank by having a hired driver roll the tank down some stairs over one of the yellow Beetles which sent debris hurtling in all directions including one of the doors that Roth still has in his massive collection of Van Halen related artifacts. Luckily a few images of the mighty VH riding on top of the tank and Roth taking a swipe at the pile of rubble that was formerly a VW bug like the charming ringmaster of mayhem that he is exist which I’ve posted below. In my mind if VH had actually pulled this one off the already dangerously drug-addled Aerosmith might have called it a day right then and there and we never would have had to endure the shambolic record that is Night in the Ruts (full disclosure—I love that record and I welcome your hate mail). I’ve included some other photos taken at the festival like the little people security detail “employed” by Van Halen and a few other gems that will make you wish you were there yourself (though I’m sure that at least a few of our DM readers probably were).

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Goes great with ACID: Behold the completely f*cked up giant wearable cat head
    08:58 am

    Stupid or Evil?


    The creepy as fuck ‘Real Cat Head’ band.
    If you hang out on the Internet long enough you’ll see some stuff that you can never unsee. Such is the case with Housetu Sato’s frighteningly realistic looking and wearable “Real Cat Heads.” Made out of felt, Sato’s freakishly large cat heads became so famous after making their debut on Sato’s Facebook page that they were displayed at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art museum.

    Since then Sato (a professor at the Japanese School of Wool Art) has apparently received loads of requests from folks wanting to buy his Real Cat Heads and due to that response he obliged and the bizarro feline head gear can now be purchased by those willing to shell out nearly ¥600,000 yen (roughly $5706.14 USD) and they only go up in price from there depending on the design. Each cat head is made to order, stands approximately five feet high (and wide) and the entire process takes about three months to complete. Though it’s noted on Dwango (the site that is selling the heads) that the “Real Cat Heads” are only available to buyers in Japan, apparently if you ask Sato nicely over on his blog he might make an exception for an interested buyer not located in the Land of the Rising Sun.

    Images of folks who appear to have purchased their own giant cat heads as well as examples of Sato’s incredibly realistic handiwork follow. 


    More of this insanity after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Thomas Edison filmed strippers, drug dens, animal murders, and THE VERY FIRST CAT VIDEO
    08:55 am



    Edison’s early experiments in film were often pretty scandalous even by today’s standards. There was the time he recorded his favorite body-building stripper, rather gracelessly disrobing upon the trapeze, right down to her massive Victorian underwear. There was also Chinese Opium Den, from which only one frame survives, but you can guess the content. There’s even the time he filmed himself electrocuting Topsy the elephant. So you have sex, drugs and violence, all right there at the beginning of cinema.

    Edison really knew what the public wanted, so obviously he made a cat video!

    In 1894 Edison filmed “Boxing Cats” at his Black Maria Studio, the charming results of which you see here. Why boxing cats? The Library of Congress explains that this was a relatively popular form of live entertainment for the time:

    “The performance was part of Professor Henry Welton’s ‘cat circus,’ which toured the United States both before and after appearing in Edison’s film. Performances included cats riding small bicycles and doing somersaults, with the boxing match being the highlight of the show.”

    The Library of Congress’s summary of the film is just “A very interesting and amusing subject.” Can’t argue with that!

    Via Public Domain Review

    Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
    Turn your favorite concert ticket stub into a floor mat
    07:50 am



    You know all those concert ticket stubs you’ve held onto for so many years? (I’ve got a pretty big collection myself and didn’t really know what to do with them.) Well now you can walk all over your concert-going memories with these personalized ticket stub floor mats. The Internet has everything, right?

    You can create these one-of-kind floor mats through Lakeside Photo Works. Depending on size, each mat averages around $34. According to the website, the best way to ensure quality of your mat is to mail in your ticket stub. Apparently your ticket stub will be mailed back to you once your mat is completed. 

    Now get to it and start wiping your dirty shoes all over your treasured Gun Club or Gang of Four ticket stub!

    via Das Kraftfuttermischwerk

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Totally awesome heavy metal cover of the ‘Stranger Things’ theme
    02:54 pm



    Winona Ryder in Stranger Things
    Whatever you think of Netflix’s Stranger Things, you can’t deny that the program is having its moment in pop culture right now. Much attention has been given to its atmospheric, synth-driven score, which was composed and performed by Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon of the group S U R V I V E. Influenced by the likes of John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream, Stein and Dixon’s work contributes greatly to the ‘80s nostalgia the show invokes. Their music is first heard during the opening titles sequence, which the internet has gone gaga over, due in part to the use of a stunning font.
    Stranger Things title card
    Naturally, a ton of covers of the opening theme have been uploaded to YouTube, with some getting creative with their interpretation, including a few metal takes. The best of the bunch is the version by a guy who records under the name Artificial Fear. As much as I dig the original, I can imagine this awesome rendition being used for season two of Stranger Things.

    Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
    Golden girl: Racy images from the famous ‘Goldfinger’ title sequence
    12:15 pm



    Golden girl Margaret Nolan covered in gold paint on the set of ‘Goldfinger.’
    Pin-up model and aspiring the dangerously curvy actress Margaret Nolan was only twenty-years-old when she landed a the gig of the girl that the Bond visual and graphic artist Robert Brownjohn got to cover in gold paint for the racy opening title sequence in the 1964 film, Goldfinger.

    Margaret Nolan being used as a canvas for a projector for the title sequence of ‘Goldfinger.’
    Earlier this week I posted about the title sequences from many of the Bond films (sans credits) that both Brownjohn and the primary title sequence artist behind the rest of the Bond films up unitl 1989, Maurice Binder, created, and got caught up in the various folklore associated with the franchise. Specifically when it came to Brownjohn’s work on Goldfinger. His subject matter for the title sequences to Goldfinger seemed so suggestive the it was the first title sequence in the history of film to require an thumbs-up from a film censor. Clad in a gold leather bikini Nolan says that in all that the shoot took two to three weeks to complete. As part of her agreement to pose for the risqué segment she received a part in the film playing a brief role as “Dink,” a masseuse. Since I’m sure you’re curious Nolan said that while she found Sean Connery “lovely” he was more interested in getting busy with her identical twin sister. Because that’s how James Bond rolls. (Why not try to shag both of them, Bondy?)

    The actual “golden girl” in the movie, “Jill Masterson” was played by actress Shirley Eaton who appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine painted gold. Her character’s death—caused by skin suffocation from being painted head to toe in gold pain—led to the “urban myth” that the actress herself had died during the filming. Eaton appeared in an episode of MythBusters to disprove the rumour.

    The Goldfinger title sequence cost approximately $6,500 and the hard-partying Brownjohn used every last penny to create one of the most memorable moments in cinema history. The images you are about to see (some of which are slightly NSFW) were taken on the set by Herbert Spencer (the founding editor of pioneering graphic design journal Typographica) and were shown back in 2013 at MoMA as a part of the exhibition Goldfinger: The Design of an Iconic Film Title. As I mentioned previously I’m a huge James Bond film junkie and I had never seen any of the images in this post until just recently and they are utterly impossible to look away from. Unless you find the image of a beautiful woman painted gold in a barely-there bikini unappealing of course—which seems highly unlikely.


    More of the golden girl who “knows when he’s kissed her….” after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Badass bikers, drugs, and hot chicks: The outlaw biker art of David Mann
    11:41 am



    ‘Tijuana Jail Break’ commissioned by Ed Roth for ‘Choppers Magazine’ by David Mann, 1966.
    Artist David Mann loved motorcycle culture and his paintings bring his own personal experiences as a member of the El Forastero Motorcycle Club to life. El Forastero members were notorious for large-scale drug running operations and theft rings whose number one target were motorcycles back in the mid-60s—and many of Mann’s paintings document club events like biker weddings and debaucherous parties fueled by booze and drugs. Mann’s father was an illustrator and a member of the prestigious Society of Scribes & Illuminators in London—one of the most highly regarded calligraphy organizations in the world, and it is clear that Mann inherited some of his father’s artistic genes.

    ‘Hollywood Run.’
    Mann started sketching images of fast cars during high school in which would lead him to his first gig as a car pinstriper. After high school Mann set out for California where he fell in love with motorcycles—specifically Harleys and began what would become a lifelong love-affair with biker culture in which Mann would express himself in every way possible. Eventually Mann would land back in his native Kansas City and upon his return would purchase his first bike—a 1948 Harley-Davidson “Panhead” and painted his first biker-centric painting dubbed “Hollywood Run.”  The painting would be among the entrants to an art show held at the Kansas City Custom Car Show in 1963 where it caught the eye of El Forastero founders Tom Fugle and Harlan “Tiny” Brower who in turn hipped the publisher of Choppers Magazine, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth—the fast car enthusiast and artist responsible for the revolting hot rod-loving vermin Rat Fink.

    Roth immediately commissioned Mann to create a large number of posters for Choppers and the works would launch Mann’s career, which included a long relationship with another magazine that is synonymous with biker culture, Easyrider. That alliance would last nearly until the moment which Mann would sadly draw his last breath at the young age of 63 in 2004. If you dig what you see in this post you can purchase reproductions of Mann’s art here. Prints signed by Mann sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Many of the badass posters that Mann created for Choppers Magazine included Roth’s name on the panel. Roth put his own copyright on the prints as they were commissioned works, but they were all done by Dave Mann.

    ‘The Blackboard Cafe,’ 1966.

    ‘Tecote Run,’ 1966.
    More Mann after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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