‘The Witch’ movie playset for kids!
09:48 am



Somehow I missed this delightful The Witch playset for kids created by Playnnobil and featured on Millionaire Playboy. It was “released” to the Internet back in March and is based on Robert Eggers’ 2015 historical period horror flick The Witch (or The VVitch if you prefer). Dig his Black Phillip figure!

I had mixed emotions about The Witch. While I thought that it was very beautifully shot, and well-acted, it just didn’t scare the pants off me the way movie critics (and seemingly everyone on Facebook) promised it would. More “arthouse flick” as opposed to something truly terrifying, like say The Descent.

I don’t know, but I thought that it could’ve been a lot scarier. That’s just me. I kept waiting and waiting for something to happen, but by the time it finally did it just felt too late. If you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t give anything away. Again, what do I know, it could make for a good, spooky October film for you and yours. You might love it. Many people did. There were several haunting elements of the film that stayed with me, but I can’t honestly recommend The Witch but tepidly.

Anyway, I can appreciate the artistry, of both the film and this cool PLAYMOBIL-themed playset! If you want to know more about Playnnobil’s thoughts about his creations—and the source of his inpiration—go here. There aren’t too many spoilers.


More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The entire print run (1979-82) of NYC punk magazine ‘Dry’ is now online!
09:33 am



Wendy O Williams of the Plasmatics in ‘Dry’ magazine
Ryan Richardson is one of the United States’ foremost collectors, archivists, and dealers of punk rock records and ephemera, as well as being the Internet saint who created free online archives of StarRock Scene, and Slash magazines. He also runs Fanzinefaves.com, a repository of various early punk zines as well as the exhaustive punk info blog Break My Face.

We’ve written about Richardson’s punk altruism before here at Dangerous Minds. The last time was back in June when he uploaded the entire print run of excellent early San Francisco punk magazine Damage over at his site CirculationZero.com.

Richardson has done his Good Samaritan work once again, this time with the upload of the complete print run of the late ‘70s/early ‘80s NYC punk magazine Dry to Circulation Zero.

According to Richardson, Dry was conceived by art school students and titled as a reaction against Wet, “The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing.”

Dry is manic in its cut-n-paste layout and panicked in its reviews and reports. Eclectic coverage of punk, No Wave and eventually hardcore in the later installments.

Fourteen issues were published, all of which are available as a single pdf download HERE

The layouts in Dry are a bit over-the-top with the cut-and-paste collage aesthetic. Though the technique is certainly part of the design tradition of punk rock, it doesn’t always make for easy reading—but that’s a fitting standard for a counter-culture fanzine… it should be challenging. 

I wouldn’t call Dry a definitive chronicle of NYC punk between 1979 and 1982 by any stretch, but these issues are still a priceless addition to the historical record and certainly worth a gander by anyone with an interest in this specific era of alternative music, particularly things that happened in New York.

The download of the complete set is free, but Richardson asks that those taking advantage make a charitable donation to Electronic Frontier Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, or Austin Pets Alive. Donations to these charities make the project worthwhile for Richardson, so it would be, you know, the cool thing to do to toss a few bucks that way, considering the amazing gift being provided here. Richardson has placed donation links on CirculationZero.com—go there now to download Dry, and while you’re waiting on that file transfer, scroll through this gallery of pages from Dry‘s history:

A pre-fame Cyndi Lauper, singing with Blue Angel, in the pages of ‘Dry’

More from the pages of ‘Dry’ after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘Bulba’: The terrible CIA sitcom pilot that starred a young Bill Hicks
03:30 pm



The 1980s were a miserable decade for standup comedy—based on the incredible success of men like Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, and Robin Williams, all of whom had an originating identity as standups, comedy saw a “boom” which really translated into bars across America labeling just about anything a “COMEDY SHOWCASE,” attracting MOR hacks everywhere to divert audiences with their “hilarious” Jack Nicholson impressions or their hackneyed thoughts about the packaging of airline peanuts. It was a decade defined by people such as Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Reiser, talented men but none of them ever likely to, say, question the Reagan administration’s Central America policy.

Which brings us to Bill Hicks, one of the few comedic heroes that the 1980s produced. Hicks was a bumptious standup comedian out of Texas, one of few comedians of that era who could truly be said to owe Lenny Bruce a debt. He talked about the benefits of LSD, marijuana, and psychedelic mushrooms onstage, railed against the implacable conformity of Americans, and once put down a heckler by saying, “Hitler had the right idea; he was just an underachiever!” In a decade in which development execs constantly lusted after some debased version of the “edgy,” Hicks was the real deal. He sadly died of pancreatic cancer in 1994 at the age of 32, a tragic fate that has cemented his status as a countercultural icon ever since.

One of the events that caused Hicks to adopt a rather jaundiced view of Hollywood was his involvement in an idiotic spoof of the CIA called Bulba. A pilot episode of the show was filmed for ABC in 1981, but it was never picked up—for very good reasons. The show centered on the goofy goings-on at the U.S. embassy in Bulba, a fictional island near India, and the show absolutely reeks of the anti-establishment ethos typified by Stripes and M*A*S*H, but sadly it isn’t funny. At all. Hicks plays “Phil,” a bumbling Marine whose identifying trait is that he isn’t wearing pants.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Smegma: Strange rumblings from legendarily freaky art-damaged noise rock improvisers
02:52 pm



When Smegma first formed—I’m referring here to the avant garde improvisational free music noise group, not that other stuff—in Pasadena, California in 1973, the collective’s membership came together in the back room of the Poo-Bah record store. The Poo-Bah was located in a basement next door to a sleazy porno theatre and the owner encouraged some of the shop’s patrons (who coalesced around a shared love of Zappa, Beefheart and the Residents) to utilize his space. The Poo-Bah later merged with the Los Angeles Free Music Society or L.A.F.M.S., a parallel group of local freaks into the same things, to release records, cassettes, newsletters and a fanzine, and to promote live events and art happenings, including those of Smegma.

Smegma’s cast of characters took on goofy pre-punk pseudonyms such as “Ju Suk Reet Meate,” “Dennis Duck,” “Cheez-It Ritz,” “Amazon Bambi,” “Chucko Fats,” “Pizza Rioux,” “Iso,” “Dr. Id,” “Dr.Odd,” “Foon,” “Ace Farren Ford,” “Electric Bill,” “Borneo Jimmy,” “Burned Mind,” “Oblivia,” “Victor Sparks,” and “Harry Cess Poole” and members overlapped with L.A.F.M.S. which might be considered the loose umbrella organization representing a scene of freaky people who were into making freaky head music. Their sound incorporated tapes, free jazz, power electronics, the Ventures, drones, proto-Plunderphonics tape loops and encouraged inspired amateurism rather than musical prowess. “NO HIPPIE MUSIC” was their guiding motto. Their disgusting name is a pisstake on le nom de French prog-rockers Magma. It should come as no surprise that Smegma were included on the infamous “Nurse with Wound list.”

In 1975, Smegma’s loose center of operations moved to Portland, Oregon where they became an important part of that city’s musical history even if most of that burg’s residents were and are still blissfully unaware of this fact. Over the decades they’ve recorded with noted oddballs like Frank Zappa discovery Wild Man Fischer, Boyd Rice, and Japanese noise prankster Merzbow (on the dual release Smegma Plays Merzbow/Merzbow Plays Smegma.) During the late 1990s, the noted pioneer rock scribe and literary cult figure Richard Meltzer served as the group’s lyricist and frontman.

More Smegma after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment