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  • ‘Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown’: Future ‘Simpsons’ director turns ‘Peanuts’ into a bloodbath
    04.24.2017
    02:57 pm

    Topics:
    Animation
    Movies
    Television

    Tags:


     
    In the mid-1980s, Jim Reardon was at the highly regarded Character Animation program at the California Institute of the Arts, and one of his student projects was a remarkable mashup of the Charlie Brown universe and the Sam Peckinpah universe—all of it undertaken with what must have been a deep affection for both worlds. The four-minute film’s title is “Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown,” an obvious reference to Peckinpah’s 1974 movie Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.

    The short is presented as the commercial for a “heartwarming holiday special” featuring the Peanuts gang. So the Great Pumpkin places a bounty on Charlie Brown’s head, which causes an immediate death spiral into ultraviolence. All of the familiar characters (Lucy, Schroeder, Linus, etc.) attempt to assassinate Charlie Brown, until finally the hero is forced to take matters into his own hands, grabbing a machine gun and mowing them all down.

    The second half of the short is truly a bloodbath, and definitely Reardon has Peckinpah’s masterpiece The Wild Bunch on the brain most of all. Peckinpah was known not just for violence but most of all for lush slow-motion sequences focusing on the carnage, and “Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown” certainly has several of those. The moment when Lucy nips Charlie Brown in the shoulder is a direct callback to a sequence from The Wild Bunch involving William Holden’s character Pike Bishop.

    Reardon’s short, which is in black-and-white, is a little crude by professional standards, but for a student project it’s incredibly effective and engaging. “Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown” is dense, somewhat akin to MAD Magazine, with references covering everything from Popeye and Travis Bickle to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Godzilla. The closing zinger, spoken in Arnie’s trademark accent, is “Happiness is a warm uzi,” a remarkably canny mix of the strip’s treacly motto “Happiness is a warm puppy” and John Lennon’s memorable ditty “Happiness Is a Warm Gun.” 

    “Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown” also owes a debt to the old Warner Bros. cartoons, particularly in the bomb Lucy creates to dispose of her football-kicking buddy.

    Based on the strength of this short—one imagines—Reardon was quickly hired by John Kricfalusi (later of Ren and Stimpy fame) as a writer on Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures. Later on he would be a supervising director for seasons 9 through 15 of The Simpsons  and co-wrote the script for WALL-E.

    Watch it after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    The United States of Horror: Coming soon to a town near you, to burn it to the ground, it’s Ho99o9
    04.24.2017
    02:54 pm

    Topics:
    Music
    Punk

    Tags:


     
    L.A.‘s hip-hop/punk/metal mutants, Ho99o9 have their debut album United States of Horror set to drop on May 5th via the band’s own imprint Toys Have Powers (distributed via through Caroline) with the dynamic title track (and more) produced by David Andrew Sitek of TV on the Radio.

    The band consists of the partnership between theOGM (Jean) and Yeti Bones (Eaddy) and Ho99o9’s very modern melding of punk, rap, and Crass-inspired political militancy (and grand sense of graphic provocation) has been described by The New York Times as “slow subwoofer-abusing hip-hop, death metal, thrash, wriggly synthesizer tones, punk, post-punk, some splotches of pink noise…” and that sounds about right to me. Everything I’ve heard by these guys so far has been utterly amazing—Ho99o9 feel more “now” and more in tune with the times to me than any other act I can name—and the new song/video for “City Rejects” is no exception.

    Ho99o9’s upcoming US tour starts on May 17th in Santa Ana, CA and finishes up June 11th in Miami. The 20 date tour will include a hometown stop at LA’s Echoplex, Chicago, Toronto, DC, Brooklyn and more. Then they’re doing the European festivals after which I expect they’re going to be fucking huge. Absolutely massive.
     

     
    Here’s a link to a landing page where Dangerous Minds readers can download “United States of Horror,” “City Rejects” and their Crass-inspired art-zine for free.
     

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    ‘A lover scorned, lovesick and obsessed’: Adia Victoria returns with the eerie ‘How It Feels’
    04.24.2017
    01:21 pm

    Topics:
    Music

    Tags:


     
    Has it really been a year since Beyond the Bloodhounds, the debut album by Adia Victoria was released?

    Some of you may recall a post from last Spring where I raved about this album rather emphatically—describing its creator and her authentic 21st century take on the blues as “Jeffrey Lee Pierce reincarnated as Ronnie Spector”—and exhorting our readers to check out this fully-formed new artist while she was still touring in more intimate venues. I saw her perform at a poorly attended gig in a small rock club in Cincinnati, where despite the tiny crowd Adia Victoria and her band played a set that could’ve raised the roof off the place. It was a privilege to be there. If Beyond the Bloodhounds wasn’t the best album of 2016, well, there’s no doubt in my mind that it was, at the very least, the debut of the year, which is saying a lot. The CD hasn’t left my “speed rack” since the day I first got it. There’s not a single weak track on it.

    All that and she seems like an extraordinarily literate, intellectually deep and self-aware human being. She’s as pretty as a princess, too.  Adia Victoria possesses the full toolkit to become an icon. Even at this early stage in her career, it’s not too soon to expect she’ll become one of “the greats.” I reckon she’s great already, now it’s up to the public to catch on.

    After touring North America—including a stellar appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert—and doing the festival circuit in Europe last year, she’s releasing a new EP—three covers (two written by Françoise Hardy and one by Serge Gainsbourg) and one original number, all sung in French—titled How It Feels.

    “I wanted this EP to take on a more eerie feel. Instead of the imagined dream pop girl wishing for her man to come home I reimagined the lyrics as sung by a lover scorned but still love sick and obsessed. I wanted to keep the timeless feel of these songs while breathing into them a bit of modernity; sharpen the edges a bit. What if ‘Parlez Moi de Lui’ were more of a hazy, trip out love letter from a woman still haunted by lost love. What if her in deranged mind her man still danced in and out of sight, just out of touch? I wanted to inject ‘Laissez Tomber Les Filles’ with a bit of the anger and danger I felt as a new political era descended on our country. This session would prove to be therapeutic in channeling my frustration with the current political landscape into powerful songs sung by iconic, emotional women. This EP was a way express all these feelings in a tangible way. There is so much emotionality to women that is often policed. This project gave me the chance to shake off those restrictions, free myself from my own mother tongue and speak in universal themes that flow beyond the borders of language.”

    Listen to How It Feels here. Adia Victoria will be touring America this summer as the opening act for Sturgill Simpson—what a double bill that is!—but alas every date on that tour is already sold out.
     

    “You Know How It Feels,” a mini-documentary about Adia Victoria
     
    More Adia Victoria after the jump…

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    Self-taught Russian grandma makes GLORIOUS green screen YouTube videos
    04.24.2017
    10:29 am

    Topics:
    Amusing
    Art

    Tags:


     
    I had a good time checking out Russian grandma and “Chroma Key guru” Tatiana Subbotina’s YouTube channel. It’s really something to behold. Everybody needs a hobby and this is hers; making off-the-wall green screen videos for her 16,000 plus followers on Youtube.

    Tatiana is completely self-taught. I have to it hand to her, most people her age are frightened of technology. But not Tatiana! Hell, I don’t even know how to do this stuff. She even has a green screen tutorial to show you how she makes her movie magic.

    BuzzFeed recently interviewed Tatiana about her videos and here’s what she said:

    “I decided that I too could talk about this [editing videos]. So I started making stories on my YouTube channel about how I work with it. I didn’t invent anything there, but I try to explain it as simply as possible. It’s very exciting and I like it.”

    Her videos are so popular she was “invited on a Russian evening chat show called Vecherniy Urgant to show off her green screen skills.”

    I applaud her work. It’s outsider art in its own unique way. Bravo!

     
    More videos after the jump…

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Earliest known footage of the Beatles FOUND. Sort of.
    04.24.2017
    10:26 am

    Topics:
    History
    Music

    Tags:


    The Beatles sitting on the roof of the indoor toilet at Paul McCartney’s family’s home in Liverpool in 1963, the very same location as seen—from a distance—in the footage below.
     
    Okay, a bit of background here: This 1958 police training film is the earliest film footage known to exist of Paul McCartney, John Lennon and (perhaps) George Harrison.

    Although they are seen from a very great distance, the tiny figures in the shot are in fact sitting on the roof of the indoor bathroom (a real rarity at that time in Britain in working class housing) on the backside of the Liverpool council house where Paul McCartney’s family was living on 20 Forthlin Road. Google Earth alone is enough to match the house’s address, but furthermore, it was confirmed by McCartney’s younger brother Mike McGear that the figures are in fact John, Paul, George and Mike himself.

    From Barry Miles’ book Many Years from Now:

    The back of the house overlooked the grounds of the Police Training College, headquarters of the Liverpool Mounted Police. Paul and his brother would watch them training horses, knocking pegs out of the ground with lances just as they had done in the British Raj.

    “We used to sit on the concrete shed in the back yard and watch the Police Show every year for free,’ Paul remembered. “One year, Jackie Collins came to open it and we were entranced at the sight of her comely young figure.”

    Armed with that tiny sliver of information, Liverpool-based Beatles fan Peter Hodgson did some primo detective work, looking at footage of the 1958 Police Show which shows the back of the McCartneys’ home on 20 Forthlin Road which was adjacent to the grounds of the Police Training College, and the Liverpool Mounted Police headquarters. John (18), Paul (16) and George (15) were in The Quarrymen together in 1958.

    Hodgson posted on Facebook:

    “They are seen, stood on top of their outside toilet roof, watching the annual Police Horse and dog display.”

    When contacted about Hodgson’s amazing find by the Liverpool Echo newspaper, Paul McCartney’s 70-year-old younger brother Mike McGear said that’s he’s pretty sure the footage shows himself and his brother, but that John Lennon and even George Harrison might have also been present that day:

    “Wow! That could definitely be us. It was a really big occasion in Liverpool and that’s what we used to do every summer, take deck chairs and climb onto the concrete shed and watch a free show. I think there is every chance John would have been there that year, absolutely. His friend, Pete Shotton, was a police cadet. George could easily have been there, too. It’s bloody mad – absolutely fascinating and unbelievable.”

    Watch the footage after the jump…

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    You can now own your very own plush Tribble from ‘Star Trek’
    04.24.2017
    09:12 am

    Topics:
    Amusing
    Television

    Tags:


     
    This is one of those dumb things that I’ve always wanted to own: A Tribble! Why not? “The Trouble with Tribbles”—with a plotline about a rapidly reproducing alien creature causing headaches for the crew of the Starship Enterprise—is the 44th episode from Star Trek which was first broadcast in the United States on December 29, 1967. Apparently over 500 Tribbles were made for this memorable episode. Seems like there would’ve needed a lot more of them, doesn’t it?

    As an ode to the fuzzy creature, Quantum Mechanix has recreated the Tribble in plush form. Now you can’t possibly get just one as you’d need to surround yourself with quite a few for the full Tribble effect.

    Each one comes in a special container that features Tribble Tips and is designed to keep it tidy and safe in the presence of Klingons

    The Tribble is $17.99 + free shipping here.

    I also found a Tribble that makes sounds of cooing and agitation! It comes in a light brown and sells for $29.99 here.


     

     
    via Boing Boing

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Hilarious Tumblr dedicated to the ‘Dumb Birds of North America’
    04.24.2017
    07:55 am

    Topics:
    Amusing
    Animals

    Tags:


    The “Fuck-tailed Flycatcher” as seen on the fantastic Tumblr “Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America.”
     
    If you’re looking for a way to kill some time today I’ve found just the thing for you—a riotously funny Tumblr called the “Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America.”

    According to the “about” page on the hilarious Tumblr it is written by a person who “hates birds” and who is located somewhere in my own home base of the Pacific Northwest. It’s full of crudely drawn illustrations of our fine-feathered friends accompanied by captions that truly show the writer’s disdain for birds. The author has also taken the liberty of renaming some of the birds such as the “Fuck-tailed Flycatcher,” the “White Breasted Butt Nugget,” and the ever popular “Northern Fucker.” Here’s the caption for the unfortunate “Fuck-tailed Flycatcher”:

    This flycatcher is from the tropics, but many show up annually in North America, some reaching as far as the North Eastern seaboard, even into Canada. It’s impossible to predict exactly where they will appear though because the dumbshits who show up here were trying to migrate from southern South America to Mexico. What a bunch of fuck-ups. Notes: Get a load of this dumbshit’s ridiculous tail.

     
    I’ve included a few of my favorite posts from the faux field guide below for your amusement.
     

     

    Pine Shitkin: These shits are brown and very streaky birds with subtle yellow edgings on wings and tails, like old underwear. They have a distinctive rising, “brzzzzzzt” call which has been likened to the sound of slowly tearing a sheet of paper in half. How’s that for irritating?

    Color: Yellow, shit streaks

     

     

    Common Goon: They stick out in the wild like dumbasses. In the summer-time you might see bunch of these big black & white fish-divers just floating around in the middle of some lake. It’s like a car full of guys in tuxedos, slowly cruising a Walmart parking-lot after hours: suspicious. Creepy red eyes.
     


     

    Belted King-Pisser: I can’t help but laugh at this ridiculous fish-eating bird. Because look how big his head is compared to his little body – ha ha! Actually, he kind of reminds me of Luis Guzmán, except that I like Luis Guzmán. Mr. Guzmán is a talented and under-appreciated actor. This bird, on the other hand, hunts fish and small amphibians by flying face-first into the water from a branch.

     
    More dumb birds of North America after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    The Smiths trash Trump with Record Store Day gag
    04.24.2017
    07:07 am

    Topics:
    Amusing
    Music
    Politics
    The wrong side of history

    Tags:


     
    The Smiths’ 2017 Record Store Day 7-inch release came with a not-so-secret message to the U.S. inscribed on the record’s A-side: “Trump Will Kill America.” While I can’t say enough great things about this awesome stunt, it is a rather depressing reminder that this becomes truer every goddamned day. The 7-inch itself is a mix of two previously unreleased demos for “The Boy With the Thorn In His Side” and the flipside features “Rubber Ring” recorded at Drone Studios in Chorlton where the band recorded a bunch of demos back in the 80s. Actor Albert Finney, seen in the “Angry Young Man” phase of his long career, is pictured on the cover.

    The news was widely spread across social media by Record Store Day shoppers who discovered the etching on the run-out groove on the A-side and deservingly dragged Donnie on his favorite communication vehicle, Twitter. In case you missed all of that, I’ve included a few posts from Smiths’ fans showing off their records at the expense of our current “president.”
     

    The etching on The Smiths’ 2017 Record Store Day 7-inch release.
     

     

     
    HT: Slicing Up Eyeballs

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    ‘Boogie ‘Til You Puke’: The gonzo weirdness of the legendary Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band
    04.21.2017
    04:13 pm

    Topics:
    Amusing
    Music

    Tags:


    The great Root Boy Slim aka Foster MacKenzie III.
     
    While the artist known as Root Boy Slim, Foster MacKenzie III, departed this world entirely too soon at the age of 48, he left us with a highly entertaining and weird catalog to remember him by. Though my previous statement seems to suggest that one might somehow forget about the existence of a group called Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band, I’m here to tell you won’t be able to. Here’s why.

    First of all, the band is called Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band. And there is no way that anyone could possibly be expected to forget a mouthful like that. It just can’t be done. If you are not aware of Root Boy Slim, then you probably didn’t come of age in the late 70s and early 80s in the Washington, D.C. area where MacKenzie was/is pretty much a folk hero. Do you remember the guy who tried to scale the fence at the White House in 1969 who claimed to be searching for the “center of the universe” while tripping balls on acid? That was Foster MacKenzie III. This unfortunate trip would land MacKenzie in a psych ward that resulted in being diagnosed as a schizophrenic which required he be medicated for life. Perhaps the time George W. Bush (one of MacKenzie’s frat brothers at Yale) hurled him off the front porch of their frat house because he caught him smoking weed resulted in some sort of head injury. Who knows? Whatever propelled the madness that was Root Boy Slim it just simply worked, even though songs from MacKenzie’s catalog include titles like “Liquor Store Hold-Up in Space,” “I’m Not Too Old for You,” and “Too Sick to Reggae” that all sort of scream “joke rock,” making it easy for the casual observer to perhaps dismiss Root Boy Slim as some sort of goofball gimmick. However, that assessment would be pretty far from the truth.

    Foster MacKenzie III was a lot of things, including being quite talented. When he got up on stage and sang “Boogie ‘Til You Puke” with his liquor-soaked voice, it was in complete earnestness just like any other musician who cared about their craft. He surrounded himself with quality musicians like saxophonist Ron Holloway who had previously stood beside Gil Scott-Heron and Dizzy Gilespie. In 1977 he managed to secure a lucrative record contract with Warner Bros. to the tune of $250,000. In 1978 Root Boy and his Sex Change Band opened up a show for the Ramones and the Runaways after which MacKenzie attempted to sweet talk a young Joan Jett to no avail. According to legend, a year later at a show MacKenzie got blotto on blow and fell off stage causing mayhem all over a table where an upper-level record executive with the label was seated with his wife. Needless to say, that didn’t go over well and after dismal sales for their debut album Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band with the Rootettes, Warners bought MacKenzie out of his contract for $40,000.
     

    The front cover of Root Boy Slim’s 1986 album ‘Don’t Let This Happen to You.’ 
     
    In 1979 MacKenzie and the band got another shot at fame when they were asked to perform “Boogie ‘Til You Puke,” in New York. The band’s performance was used for a scene in Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video—a bizarre NBC late-night television special created by Michael O’Donoghue, the brilliantly funny writer whose credits include National Lampoon, Saturday Night Live and the film Scrooged. Long story short, the special, which also included appearances by Klaus Nomi, Debbie Harry, and Sid Vicious, never made it to the airwaves because when the suits at NBC saw it they refused to air it. That same year the band played the nineteenth annual Reading Rock Festival sharing Saturday’s bill with Cheap Trick and the Scorpions. Despite all the coke and failed record contracts, 1979 had its moments for MacKenzie and I.R.S. records would sign the band to their sub-label Illegal Records, though, just like Warner, the label would later drop kick MacKenzie to the curb thanks to album number two Zoom which tanked just as hard as the band’s debut.

    Though Foster went by the moniker Root Boy Slim, MacKenzie, who is often affectionately referred to as the “Lenny Bruce of the Blues” was a pretty big dude clocking in at over six-feet tall and two hundred or so pounds. But that didn’t stop him from performing all kinds of antics on stage like pretending to vomit (which earned him another nickname the “Duke of Puke”) or perhaps curling up in the bass drum for a brief, make-believe nap. It’s all pretty fantastic stuff. Thankfully, a documentary on Root Boy Slim has been in the works since last year thanks to the great Jeff Krulik of Heavy Metal Parking Lot fame who got filmmaker Dick Bangham (who was already working on a RBS doc and also designed album covers for MacKenzie back in the day) together with Scott Mueller. The documentary tentatively titled Boogie ‘Til You Puke: The Forgotten Legend of Root Boy Slim is due out sometime this year or in 2018.

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    The worst/best cover version of Serge Gainsbourg’s infamous ‘Je t’aime…’ that you’ll ever hear
    04.21.2017
    03:47 pm

    Topics:
    Music
    Television

    Tags:


     
    Serge Gainsbourg’s infamous duet with Jane Birkin, “Je t’aime… moi non plus” (“I love you… me neither”) released in the “annee erotique” of 1969, had originally been recorded in late 1967 with Brigitte Bardot who the song was written for, a penance/apology from Gainsbourg for a disastrous first date. Bardot’s estranged husband, German photographer Gunther Sachs, got wind of the steamy song via reporters eager to drum up another scandal surrounding the sex kitten. The number’s orgasmic female moaning was said to be “audio vérité” (apparently at least half true, as Gainsbourg is alleged to have fingered the actress in the vocal booth) and Sachs demanded the release be pulled. The famously private Bardot begged her notoriously sardonic lover to withhold the song, prompting him to tell her “For the first time in my life, I write a love song and it’s taken badly.” Their original version would not be released until 1986.

    Gainsbourg asked Marianne Faithfull, Valérie Lagrange and Mireille Darc (the model/actress perhaps best known for her role in Jean-Luc Godard’s Week End) to record the duet with him, but they all turned him down, until, as fate would have it, he was to meet his greatest muse, English model/actress Jane Birkin on the set of the film Slogan. Birkin quickly agreed, seething with jealousy over the idea of someone else singing this sexy chant d’amore with him. When “Je t’aime…” was finally released, the song was banned from radio play in Spain, Sweden, Brazil, the UK, Italy, and Portugal. Even in France, the song was forbidden to be played before the hour of 11 pm. Most US radio stations didn’t touch it, but still the song went on to sell over four million copies.

    “Je t’aime…” has been covered—a lot. There are moog versions, parodies and recordings of the song by the likes of Nick Cave and Anita Lane (who also recorded it with Barry Adamson), Psychic TV, Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, Pet Shop Boys with artist Sam Taylor-Johnson, Einstürzende Neubauten, and by Placebo’s Brian Molko with Italian actress Asia Argento (who reversed the gender roles). And that’s a very partial listing. I think it’s also safe to assume that at this very minute and indeed during every future minute before time comes to an end, that there are at least two drunken fools in love singing “Je t’aime…” in a karaoke bar somewhere on the planet.
     

    Serge Gainsbourg et Jane Birkin performing “Je t’aime…” at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

    But probably the weirdest cover of “Je t’aime…” ever performed is by an enigmatic little old man by the name of Zvonimir Levačić or “Ševa” as he was known to viewers of Noćna mora (“Nightmare Stage”), the defiantly strange long-running live late-night telecast on Croatian television, which as far as I can tell was something analogous to an Eastern European version of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Ševa was one of the show’s most popular performers and according to his bio (unless Google translate was way off, which it think it might be in this case) was a bit of a war hero who was considered to be an intellectual and philosopher. Still he seems a bit more Richard Dunn than Slavoj Žižek to me.

    Watch it after the jump, and no, this is NOT a recent Happy Mondays reunion…

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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