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Watch The Fall break up into a million shards, live at Brownie’s in NYC, 1998
10:19 am


The Fall

This exchange happened after the Fall’s gig at Brownie’s on the Lower East Side of NYC on April 7, 1998:

Fan 1: “That was the scariest thing I ever saw. Now I know who I want to go as for Halloween.”
Fan 2: “You mean Mark E. Smith? You don’t understand…he’s not usually like this.”
Fan 1: “Oh, that’s too bad. I feel like I finally saw my first real punk band! That was the greatest show I ever saw in my life.”

That reaction merely scratched the surface of what happened that night. An actual fight broke out between longtime Fall drummer Karl Burns and frontman Mark E. Smith midway through the set. Before the sun would rise the next morning, Mark E. Smith would be arrested for assault. Even more momentously, it would emerge that the three members of the then-quintet who left the stage in the middle of the final song had played their last Fall gig ever, including Burns, who had been with the band since 1977, and Steve Hanley, the Fall’s utterly essential bassist who had been slogging it out with Mark E. Smith since 1979. The combination of Hanley and guitarist Craig Scanlon, who had left the band in 1995, was every bit as crucial to the Fall’s elusive brilliance during the early 1980s as MES himself, as can be witnessed on such phenomenal albums as Perverted by Language, This Nation’s Saving Grace, and Hex Enduction Hour. (Few pieces of music bring me as much joy as the lengthy “Garden” off of Perverted by Language.)

It couldn’t have been easy being such a close compadre of volatile genius/crabapple Mark E. Smith for two decades, but in April 1998 frustrations boiled over. Three days earlier, tempers had flared during a show in Philadelphia; Hanley and Smith got into a “fight,” according to WPRB DJs who attended the gig, and half the band quit the stage in disgust, leaving just Smith and keyboardist Julia Nagle on the stage (which would happen again a few days later at Brownie’s). After the show there was an extensive discussion of the fracas on WPRB (this clip is very entertaining). Julia’s rebuttal, written ten years after the fact, can be found here, along with that clip:

the UK tour prior to the US had also been a shambles, as the group had received a large VAT/TAX bill and were not happy chickens (threats of houses being lost etc. were the main topic of conversation or argument). Also, regarding to the incident at the beginning of the US tour, I defended myself with my fists during an argument about sharing a room with Mark and in the morning he had a black eye from that fracas. (there were many fracas’s during this time in The Falls history and they were nothing to be proud of).

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Man has 100 maggots in his nose
09:59 am



A 65-year-old Sao Paulo man visited his doctor complaining of sinus pain, swelling around his nose and worms coming out of his nose. That last should have been a big clue, for when doctors investigated further, by inserting a camera up the man’s nose, they discovered over 100 flesh-eating maggots chowing down on the poor man’s nasal cavity.

The maggots were burrowing, squelching, pulping up the man’s interior and doing that kinda gross maggotty thing maggots do. Doctors had to remove the maggots one by one being guided by the camera and using a saline solution.

The maggots were identified as Cochliomyia hominivorax (or the New World Screwworm) which is prevalent in Central and South America and in certain Caribbean Islands. Female adult flies lay batches of 200-400 eggs, in rows around a fresh wound on warm-blooded animals. The larvae then feast on the flesh. This 65-year-old was lucky, as the maggots could have eaten his face away from the inside.

Via Daily Mail.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Inside the Warsaw Ghetto: Summer 1941

Since 1596 Warsaw has been the capital of Poland. In Polish Warsaw (“Warszawa”) literally means “belonging to Warsz”—a 12th-13th-century nobleman who owned land in the Mariensztat district. Warsaw was home to Europe’s largest Jewish population—around 337,000 in 1939, and 445,000 by 1941.

When Germany invaded Poland in August 1939, the Nazis quickly surrounded the capital city and launched a deadly blitzkreig that claimed many lives and destroyed buildings. The Germans were now in control of the country and in November 1939, an edict issued by Hans Frank, the Governor General, decreed all Jewish men, women and children over the age of ten had to wear a Star of David armband to identify themselves. All Jewish shops had to be similarly marked with a Star of David, and severe restrictions were placed on the Jewish population. Further laws limited the amount of money Jews were able to withdraw, with strict rules on buying produce, letting and owning property and travel.

In March 1940, groups of Polish gangs launched a series of violent attacks on the Jewish population—stealing money, gold, food, clothes and anything they could find of any value. These attacks lasted for eight days until the Germans intervened.

In February 1940, the Germans proposed plans to create a Jewish quarter or ghetto, where all Jews would be contained. On the Day of Atonement, October 1940, a decree was issued establishing a Jewish ghetto. All Jews had to relocate to this ghetto, which meant 30% of the population of Warsaw was packed into only 2.4% of the city’s area—some 400,00 people living in 1.3 square miles, an average of 7.2 people per room.

By mid-November, a wall surrounding the ghetto was built. The wall was over eleven feet high with broken glass and barbed wire on top and was constructed by the German company Schmidt & Munstermann, who were responsible for building the Treblinka concentration. The wall was paid for by the same Jewish community it was built to imprison. Access to and from the ghetto was limited to mainly food and supplies. The Jewish population inside the ghetto were allocated daily rations of 181 calories. The Germans intended to starve the imprisoned population. During 1941 Jewish deaths rose from 898 in January, to 5,560 in August. The average monthly mortality rates for the seventeen months from January 1941 to May 1942 was 3882. But death was not quick enough for the Germans, and in May 1942, 254,000 Jewish ghetto inhabitants were transported to Treblinka for extermination.

Willy Georg was an old German soldier who made money taking photographs of young German soldiers. During the summer of 1941, Georg was given permission to enter the Jewish ghetto and take photographs of the inhabitants. Georg shot four rolls of film, but as he was shooting a fifth roll, a German military policeman stopped him and confiscated his camera, he was then escorted out of the area. However, the policeman had not searched Georg and he was therefore able to sneak out the four rolls of shot film. He developed these films and carefully stored them along with the prints for the next fifty years until the late 1980s when he met Rafael Scharf, a researcher of Polish-Jewish studies, to whom he gave his pictures. These photographs were then published in the book Warsaw Ghetto: Summer 1941 in 1993.
More of Willy Georg’s powerful photographs of the Jewish ghetto, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Wendy O. Williams, The Misfits, Black Flag—collect ‘em all with these vintage punk trading cards!

Totally in love with these cheap little vintage punk rock trading cards. Today we truly live in a post-punk world! Chain gas stations sell Misfits Zippos to oblivious rednecks! Hot Topic has monetized every band under the sun by slapping their logos on everything short of your first-born! Isn’t there something kind of quaint about this modest old school attempt to capitalize off punk fandom? The awkward little captions, the trademarks and copyrights over what I’m almost sure are fair-use press photos—it was a more innocent time of hucksterism!

I assume the cards didn’t move that well, considering these all came from 1981/82 editions of Punk Lives magazine (forget the copyright, most of these bands didn’t even exist in 1978). Perhaps whoever thought them up overestimated the archivist tendencies of early punk rocker, but I like the kitsch of such obsolete tinpot swag. Note early incarnation of The Cult with fresh-faced Ian Astbury; and Mark Chung and FM Einheit, later of Einstürzende Neubauten, back when they were in the Abwarts.



More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
¡Películas muy locos, ay caramba! The awesomely lurid art of Mexican B-movie lobby cards

I don’t think I’m too far out on a limb in assuming that John Cozzoli probably has a completely amazing house. Cozzoli collects 20th Century monster movie ephemera, and he’s the best kind of collector—the kind who shares. He curates the online archive Zombos’ Closet, a vast trove of endearingly cheap thrills, including movie and book reviews, and scans of his collections of cinema pressbooks, goofy paper-cutout Halloween decorations, and his amazing collection of Mexican lobby cards from B-grade films. If you have time to descend into a serious rabbit-hole of marvelous trash-culture nostalgia, visit that site just as soon as you possibly can and revel in its contents. And if that’s not enough for you, Collectors Weekly ran a terrific in-depth interview with Cozzoli in 2012. But for now, enjoy some samples from his lobby card collection. This barely even scratches the surface of what he’s got to offer on his site. I went mostly for lurid horror, but he’s got TONS of luchador movie art, as well.

Cozzoli:There’s a mistaken belief that having a big budget guarantees a good movie: It doesn’t. Many movies with modest budgets have outdone movies with bigger pockets to draw from. I love seeing how creative a director and set designer can be when faced with limited resources to work from. Horror movies were originally A-listers, drawing notable actors and production teams. Over time they switched to B and C status as the studios realized they could still make a profit on a cheap movie. Even the bad movies sometimes show a sparkle of wit or style or dramatic directness that makes them enjoyable to watch.

While many Mexican lobby cards promote American movies, they also made cards for Spanish-language movies, often illustrated with vampires, witches, and mummies; Japanese movies, like those made by Toho Studios; and other non-Spanish-language movies. Really, just about any movie that could be shown in a local theater, foreign or domestic, had cards done for it. If the lobby cards were done for American or other non-Spanish-language movies, the compositions usually derive to some degree from the movie’s poster campaign, so these cards tend to be more, let’s say, sedate, and tone down the sex and mayhem. Spanish-language lobby cards are usually more vibrant and suggestive.

Monster kid and movie historian Professor Kinema (Jim Knusch) was the person who turned me on to these wonderful examples of movie promotion for theaters. It was while perusing his collection of lobby cards and pressbooks that I fell in love with both. One reason I focus on Mexican lobby cards is because at $5 to $10 a pop, they’re a lot cheaper than American cards, making them easier to collect. Additionally, Mexican cards for native Spanish movies are usually more colorful and dynamic, and the Mexican cards come in larger sizes, which make them more interesting and displayable.


Devil Bat’s Daughter, 1946

She Demons, 1958

The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues, 1955
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Pattern Behavior’: The funniest site you’ll see on the Internet today
06:28 am



Chicago comedian Natalie Kossar’s Pattern Behavior is the current hot-shit Tumblr blowing up the Twitterverse, and for good reason. Go there right now and laugh your ass off at her cleverly détourned sewing pattern packages.

According to Kossar:

After my mother insisted that I help her “use Google” to find a particular sewing pattern from 1989, I became fascinated and inspired by McCall’s vintage sewing patterns. Only instead of using them to make clothes, I decided to make these cartoons.

Kossar’s captioning style plays on the inherent dated tackiness of the painted models, creating modern “truthful” scenarios that apply snarky realism to the absurdity of the poses and positions—which are virtually crying out for explanation. She manages to do this without taking cheap, obvious shots. The results are hilarious, as you will see.

We dare you to find anything funnier on the Internet today.


More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
When Joni Mitchell recorded with Cheech & Chong…
06:19 am


Joni Mitchell
Cheech & Chong

Not that I need to hear another word about what a magical place California was in the 1970s for the rest of my life, but I guess it must really have been something if it could bring Joni Mitchell together with Cheech & Chong. In Cheech & Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography, Chong says that Mitchell was romantically involved with Cheech, and that she witnessed the conception of the duo’s immortal teen rebellion anthem, “Earache My Eye.” The place is Malibu, the year 1972:

Cheech rented a house in the Hollywood Hills and became the party guy in town. Without [former girlfriend] Barbie he was a free man. While he dated a bevy of eligible Hollywood ladies, one in particular fed my admiration for the Cheech charm. Joni Mitchell, the genius Canadian songwriter, was entangled with Cheech for a while. Gaye Delorme, the guitarist, was staying with Cheech when Joni was over with David Geffen, who was Joni’s personal manager at the time. Gaye was trying to convince Joni to buy a Canadian-built acoustic guitar, but David Geffen shot the deal down when he said he didn’t especially like the guitar. David knew the music business and Joni respected his opinion, so she passed on the guitar. This did not stop the Canadian from trying. Gaye wrote the music and the riff for a tune soon to be known as “Earache My Eye”... or “Mama Talking to Me.” Gaye came up with the music and the first line, “Mama talking to me,” and I added, “trying to tell me how to live, but I don’t listen to her cause my head is like a sieve… My daddy he disowned me cause I wear my sister’s clothes. He caught me in the basement with a pair of panty hose.”

The story ends abruptly in the book, but Chong picks it up again in this recent interview with Rolling Stone:

That was a trip, too, because [Gaye] was staying with Cheech at that time, and Cheech was dating Joni Mitchell—or at least he went out with Joni Mitchell one time—and there was Joni Mitchell and David Geffen, and Gaye Delorme came out of the bedroom, and he said “Listen,” and he played the [“Earache My Eye”] riff.


On Court and Spark, Mitchell enlisted Cheech & Chong to contribute a few spoken lines to her rendition of “Twisted,” a jazz song by singer Annie Ross and saxophonist Wardell Gray. Ross recorded the song with the vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, a group Mitchell refers to as “my Beatles”:

In high school, theirs was the record I wore thin, the one I knew all the words to.


Biographer Mark Bego writes that “Twisted” was the first song Mitchell recorded that she had not written herself. She paid Cheech & Chong a high compliment, so to speak, by inviting them to fill in for the other two members of the trio she idolized as a teenager. If this jazz thing is too sophisticated for you, fast forward to 1:47 to hear Cheech and Chong’s cameo.

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
‘Window-Shopping through the Iron Curtain’: Stark images of scarcity under communism
02:49 pm



Moscow, 1990, Lipstick
One of the things people tend to overlook when skimming (or pretending to have read) Marx is his appreciation for the pleasures that industrial capitalism has bestowed upon us. The factory, for all its horrors visited upon the working class, also brought with it the mass production of food, valuable time-saving devices and more affordable basic comforts. Capitalism’s “invisible hand” made things quicker, and cheaper. The goal of communism was never to reverse that progress, but to socialize the means of production so that workers actually benefited from the wealth they produced.

Experiments in state communism tended to fail spectacularly on that front. Communist countries often dealt with shortages—some of them quite dire—due to blockades, mismanagement of resources, the limitations of their own geography, a poverty of resources and often simply the inability to industrialize fast enough (you’re not going to turn a rural region of Kazakhs into Detroit overnight). Photographer David Hlynsky’s fascinating new book Window-Shopping through the Iron Curtain is a stark look at life under communism from the POV afforded by the often threadbare, low rent storefronts of Poland, the USSR, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany. A far cry from the window-shopping most of us in the West are familiar with, the (usually) spare window displays don’t exactly inspire a consumerist frenzy—not that most citizens could indulge in a ton of casual consumption anyway. Some of the windows were actually so bare of goods that the businesses apparently attempted to distract the eye with cheerful, often quite dynamic decor, but the effort is a bit transparent, and it does little to alleviate the austere effect.

Moscow, 1990, Uniforms

Crakow, Poland, 1989, Vase with small shoes

Moscow, 1990. Poultry and eggs
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Shitty toupée could land man in jail
02:17 pm



No, this isn’t the offending toupée.

A Norway man is finding himself in hot water and could possibly face jail time after cutting off his own hair and beard and then gluing it another man’s head in an attempt to create an awesome looking toupée.

According to attorney Harald Bilberg, everyone involved consented to this rather peculiar method. “He was bald, so the accused claims that they had agreed to create a toupée for the aggrieved party,” said Bilberg.

Bilberg admits this is one of the most unusual cases he’s ever taken on.

The man responsible for the shitty toupée is only being described as someone in his 40s who has done some other petty crimes before.

The Local did say that the offending toupée maker, “was arrested once again on Friday after breaking the restraining order imposed to protect the recipient of the home-made toupée.”

via The Local and Arbroath

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dainty teacups filled with Cthulhu and other eldritch creatures
12:40 pm



Brisbane-based artist Michael Palmer creates these fierce looking sea-dwelling creatures that sit within a dainty teacup full of “tea.” The “tea” is actually resin, so you can’t drink out of these. Bummer.

More than anything, they’re just awesome to look at and would make a cool gift for someone.

Even though an Ood from Doctor Who doesn’t technically live in water, I’d like to see one of those within a teacup.

You can purchase these cups from Voodoo Delicious on Etsy. Each (nonfunctional) teacup will run you about $45.



via Bored Panda

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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