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Torture in paradise: The ‘mud-lightning metal’ of Flaming Dragons of Middle Earth
05.23.2017
10:43 am

Topics:
Kooks
Music

Tags:
Heavy Metal
outsider art


 
I tried to catch Flaming Dragons of Middle Earth at a local art gallery a few months back, but I blew it. You really gotta be on time for events of this magnitude. By the time I got there, it looked like a garbage truck had crashed into an art supply store. There was glitter, paint, feathers, sweat, piss and melted crayons everywhere. The room smelled like burnt rubber and semen. The joint was filled with creeps, crazies and zonked-out dreamers, but I had no idea if any of them were in the band or not. You couldn’t tell where the aftermath ended and the afterparty began, but the star of the show had definitely vanished. “The kid in the wheelchair split,” shrugged the disappointed art-school chick in the lime-green cardigan. There was more than a little unrequited lust in her eyes.
 

Danny Cruz, Dragon King
 
Flaming Dragons formed in 2007 in Turner Falls, Massachusetts (don’t bother looking it up, FDOME are definitely the most exciting thing about the place). Every Thursday at the Brick House Community Resource Center, Danny Cruz—a resourceful young dude with muscular dystrophy, a fearsome scruff of facial hair and a seriously banged-up wheelchair—would jam with whoever was around on whatever instruments they could scrape up, eventually creating a bowel-loosening neo-hard rock, aggressively psychedelic spazz-punk sound that Cruz likes to call “Mud Lightning Metal.” And who are we to argue?


The cover of FDOME’s 2014 opus, ‘The Seed of Contempt’

The band has been going strong ever since. The members change constantly. There’s been a wizard on bass and a kid with Down’s syndrome on drums. Doesn’t really matter. All of it channels through cosmic shaman Cruz, who turns his ragtag noise crew into a life-affirming blast of pure holy light. They have a clutch of official albums released on OSR records and piles more unreleased or unofficial or just waiting patiently to be born. They often perform in unsuspecting art galleries or community centers or public access TV stations in Western Massachusetts and no one is the same afterward. In between gigs, Cruz hits up YouTube and pontificates on chemtrails (hint: it’s aliens!) and whatever other urban ailments he’s feeling that day.

If his band didn’t play freeform jazz metal, he’d probably be the new Roky Erickson. At the very least, he’s the new Eugene Chadbourne. If you haven’t been covered in feathers and buckets of paint lately, I’d suggest maybe you catch a show.

Take a look, after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
Bizarre penis and boob socks
05.23.2017
08:42 am

Topics:
Amusing
Fashion

Tags:
socks


 
Don’t even ask how I discovered these penis and boob socks. It was an accident, I can assure you, but find them I did. And you should be grateful I found ‘em. Anyway, the crochet socks are handmade by Ukrainian shop Tetiana Knits. There’s not really much to say about these bizarro socks except… here they are! I dig the pointy toes.

It appears the socks come in different colors and styles upon request. There’s even a penis/vulva combo.

The socks are currently selling for around $30 a pair plus shipping.

I think these would go nicely with the “male rompers” currently making the rounds on every website and blog imaginable.


 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Swedish TV accidentally puts children’s subtitles over political debate, and it’s f*cking hilarious!
05.22.2017
01:54 pm

Topics:
Politics
Television

Tags:
Sweden


 
Civic-minded Swedes who tuned in to a political debate early last year didn’t expect to witness an interplanetary underwater battle involving dinosaurs, but thanks to an innocent mixup at the SVT2 TV station, that’s what they got.

It was probably more entertaining, not to say true-to-life, than what was actually happening in the debate, which involved Environmental Minister Åsa Romson, Liberal People’s Party leader Jan Björklund, Education Minister Gustav Fridolin, and Urban Ahlin, Speaker of the Riksdag, the national legislature of Sweden.
 

 
The subtitles depicted dialogue from the PBS children’s TV show Dinosaur Train

The head of the channel’s subtitle department, Anna Zetterson, smells a rat (or is it a dinosaur?), it seems. It turns out that on some older television models you can swap out the “teletext” page from another channel while keeping the current image. On Facebook she wrote in Swedish, “On some older TVs can still choose the old teletext page for the different channels’ subtitles, while checking on a different channel. So SVT, or any operator, didn’t send these out. But it is something you can amuse yourself with on an older television set.”

We don’t care. Maybe nobody made a mixup and it was all a plot to tickle our brains. All we can say is, mission accomplished!
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Ultramega OK: Soundgarden destroy the Whisky a Go-Go, 1990


 
Like many of you, I’m still trying to process the sudden death of Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell last week. Here in Seattle, where Cornell was born, there were several memorials held around the city including one at the site that inspired the band’s name—A Sound Garden—a musical sculpture park where twelve 20+ foot structures outfitted with organ pipes emanate with sound whenever the wind blows. After Cornell passed, Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron posted a heart-wrenching comment on his Facebook page saying “My dark knight is gone,” a sentiment that hit entirely too close to home for those who knew Cornell as well as those who often suffer in silence—forever searching for ways to deal with their own depression and anxiety.

At an impromptu memorial held at the radio station KEXP on the day of Cornell’s death, 400 people showed up to collectively grieve at the station’s gathering space. While addressing the crowd, long-time DJ John Richards said that “part of the city (of Seattle) had died” that day. Often, music is something that can be hugely helpful and cathartic when you’re trying to make sense of unfathomable events such as Cornell’s impossibly sad, untimely passing. And that is exactly the purpose of my post today—to share Soundgarden’s legacy by way of their sonic, ear-smashing music.

Though I know your social media feeds have likely been filled with news about the legendary vocalist, I really wanted to support as well as spread the idea of celebrating Cornell’s life and his work with Soundgarden, who are/were without question one of the greatest rock bands of the last 30 years. A large part of their appeal was, of course, the animal magnetism of Chris Cornell’s stage presence and his immaculate four-octave vocal range. Cornell was also the primary lyricist for Soundgarden, which helped solidify his deep connection to their fan base.

More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The Monkees’ last stand: Their final 1969 TV special ‘33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee’
05.22.2017
12:34 pm

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
The Monkees
Brian Auger


 
After the glorious fiasco that was the 1968 movie Head, the last project that the Monkees undertook as a quartet was a TV special for NBC called 33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee. It’s basically the TV equivalent of Head, complete with corny jokes, audacious cameos, hummable ditties, and stuff that makes you scratch your noggin in puzzlement.

Like the band itself, 33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee, which aired on April 14, 1969, is thoroughly of the Sixties, somehow managing to blend (say) the Batman TV show and Barbarella with musical performance shows of the day like Shindig! (which makes sense, as the producer of Shindig!, Jack Good, was involved with this as well.

The Monkees enlisted Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll to take care of the half-baked framing narrative, a crazed musical impresario (errr, Don Kirshner?) who turns the four Monkees into mindless automatons so that he can “brainwash the world!!” (I told you it was right out of Batman.) The Monkees’ arrival is highly reminiscent of the “beaming” effect on Star Trek, which had been out for a couple of years by that point, so that counts as a reference.

About a third of the way through the show, Auger (still in “sinister” character) explains the nature of the musical mind-control properties of the rock and roll piano chords via an audacious device—the camera shows Auger at the piano and strategically pans away from the action to reveal that Auger’s piano is perched on a piano played by Jerry Lee Lewis, which is perched on a piano played by Little Richard, which is perched on a piano played by Fats Domino. Like this:
 

 
It was probably no accident that the band chose a metaphor of being controlled by a sinister puppet master. After all, the Monkees’ story is the most vivid example in rock history of a band struggling to seize the means of production (we call them “instruments”) from the corporate overlords that had conjured them into being in the first place—in the show, Auger actually uses the word conjure to summon them into being. Later on in the show, the four fellows sing a discordant little ditty called “Wind Up Man” (as wind-up men), which included lyrics like this:
 

I’m a wind up man
Programmed to be entertaining
Turn the key
I’m a fully automatic
Wind up man
Invented by the teeny bopper
Turn me on
And I will sing a song about a
Wind up man

 
As mentioned, it would seem that the stress of being the world’s first purely manufactured rock and roll TV sensation had gotten to the boys…...

More fun than a barrel of Monkees after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Honda scooter ads featuring DEVO, Lou Reed, Miles Davis, Grace Jones, and Adam Ant


 
In the mid-1980s Honda had a series of quite dauntingly cool musicians hawking their scooters. They had particularly playful, sexy commercial in which Adam Ant and Grace Jones flirt with each other and then presumably fuck because they are so preposterously vital and attractive. Others featured DEVO, Berlin, Lou Reed, and Miles fucking Davis.

The Adam Ant/Grace Jones ad was “racy” enough that there was an edited version. In the full version Jones bites Ant’s ear, an act that doesn’t seem especially interesting. In any case, there was second version that trimmed the ear bite. The video below features both versions.

Were the commercials successful? I don’t know, Honda is still in business so probably, yeah. Do you know anyone who owns a Honda scooter? Hmmmmmm.
 

 
References to Reed‘s Honda commercial are inevitably rather amusing. Mick Wall in his book Lou Reed: The Life writes:
 

New Sensations was so listenable that ... it attracted the attention of an advertising agency executive, Jim Riswold, then chief copywriter for the Madison Avenue [actually Portland] giants Wieden & Kennedy. ... So he approached Lou Reed to help make an ad for Honda scooters.

At the time, Riswold recalled, “advertisers didn’t put people in commercials who had a long history of drug addiction, and of course [Lou Reed] was a man who at one time in his life was married to a man, and that man was a transvestite, so I guess you could say he wasn’t your typical spokesman. But if you looked at who we were trying to sell scooters to, it was natural. Actually, when you look back at that commercial it seems pretty damn tame today.”

Actually, at the time it just seemed plain hilarious. Lou Reed in a TV commercial? Selling scooters?

 
As Wall points out later, it was doubly weird because in the title track of New Sensations, Reed rhapsodized about a competing vehicle, the Kawasaki GPx750 Turbo motorcycle, singing that “the engine felt good between my thighs.”

Similarly, here’s Nick Kent, in the anthology Miles on Miles: Interviews and Encounters with Miles Davis:
 

America’s TV heartland has already witnessed this curious image of a man, a skinny figure with gleaming skin and what remains of his hair curling all over his shoulders: his hands grip (what else?) a trumpet, his lithe form is slouched against a small Japanese scooter, his eyes stare out at the viewer with imperious disdain. Then the voice, emanating from that shredded, node-less killing-floor of a larynx, mutters, “I ain’t here to talk about this thing, I’m here to ride it.”

 
Watch the Honda scooter commercials after the jump….....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Voluptuous women sitting on subservient men: The erotic art of Namio Harukawa (VERY NSFW!)
05.22.2017
10:27 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:
erotica
BDSM
Namio Harukawa

01namio.jpg
 
Art is mostly about the artist’s personal obsessions, isn’t it? With Japanese artist Namio Harukawa, it’s kinda obvious what he’s obsessed with.

Harukawa draws big-assed dominant women sitting on the faces of skinny subservient men. His drawings depict ye ancient art of “facesitting”—which probably doesn’t need any more explaining than that. Some of his erotic drawings (not included here) go beyond the smothering power games of facesitting, and its associated acts of cunnilingus and anilingus, into coprophilia and urolagnia.

His large, voluptuous women are amazonian, Robert Crumbesque goddesses. They are aloof, indifferent to the plight of the men (quite literally) beneath them. They smoke cigarettes, drink wine, talk on the phone, or read books. These women are utterly in control. The men only exist to service their needs. The men are weak, puny, almost asexual, but willing submit to their mistresses’ needs.

For an artist who produces such powerful and subversive art, it’s rather surprising to find there is only a small amount of biographical detail about him on the Internet. Some pages claim he is dead. Some that he is still alive. There is even a dispute over his age. One Wikipedia entry has him born in 1932, while another Wikipedia page claims he was born in January 1947, in the Osaka Prefecture. Whatever the facts about this elusive and mysterious artist, his work has grown from underground cult status in the 1960s to a small but reverential international market.
 
02namio1.jpg
 
03namio.jpg
 
More of Namio’s artwork, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Explicitly perverse and provocative illustrations of Russian criminal underworld tattoos
05.22.2017
10:07 am

Topics:
Art
Crime
Drugs
Politics
Sex

Tags:
tattoos
russians


“Satan and the Devil’s agent in Russia.” This illustration by Danzig Baldaev was copied from the chest of a criminal named “White” in 1991 who had recently completed a 32-year bid in prison.
 
During his time as a prison guard in Russia, and then later as the warden of the notorious Kresty Prison in Leningrad, Danzig Baldaev would become the curator and historian of tattoos worn by the convicts he watched over for nearly 40 years.

Baldaev’s illustrations, 3,000 or so in all, have been compiled into a popular series of books—the first of which was published in 2004 under the title Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volume I. Had it not been at the urging of his father—who was no friend of the infamous NKVD (the politically repressive Stalin-era “secret” police group, The People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs)—the stories behind the tattoos might never have been publicly chronicled. According to Baldaev, after he showed his father photographs of prisoners held in solitary confinement he advised him to start “collecting” images of the prisoner’s tattoos, for if he did not, the stories behind them would “all go to the grave with them.” The tattoos themselves served multiple purposes such as distinguishing a captive’s alignment within the prison population, what kind of crime they had committed or perhaps their affiliation with a specific Russian gang.

In 2009 the duo behind publishing house FUEL, Damon Murray, and Stephen Sorell purchased 750 illustrations done by Baldaev from his widow, which were then compiled in editions of the Russian Criminal Tattoo volumes. Here’s an example of the grim stories that would have gone undocumented by way of one heavily tattooed prisoner (who you can see here), who was photographed by Baldaev collaborator and fellow prison warden Sergei Vasiliev during a visit to the Strict Regime Forest Camp Vachel Settlement in the Penza Oblast Region of Russia.

This prisoner’s tattoos display his anger and bitterness towards Communist power; the tattoos on the face signify that he never expects to go free. He works as a stoker. Text under the eyes reads “Full / of Love;” on the chin “Danger of Death;” around the neck “To each his own;” above each head of the double-headed snake “Wife’ and ‘Mother-in-law;” on the chest “It is not for you whores, to dig in my soul;” on his arm “Communists, suck my dick for my ruined youth.”

Below is a selection of Baldaev’s illustrations, most of which, as you might have already figured out, are absolutely NSFW.
 

Top text reads “The Scary Dicks of the Land of Fools.” The text printed on the penises reads “Everything for the People!”
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Buffalo: Australia’s answer to Black Sabbath
05.22.2017
08:37 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Black Sabbath
Australian TV
Buffalo

Buffalo and Black Sabbath
 
The Australian band Buffalo was one of the earliest acts to show an obvious debt to heavy metal pioneers, Black Sabbath. Their Sabbath-inspired debut, Dead Forever…, came out in 1972 and sold over 25,000 copies. The Sydney-based group was signed to Vertigo Records, which was also Sabbath’s label in Australia.

Prior to the release of their third album, a live Buffalo set was recorded for Australian TV, with portions airing over multiple nights during the GTK (as in “get to know”) program. The below video is a collection of the five clips, ending with their version of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid,” which doesn’t appear on any Buffalo LP. If you want to skip to “Paranoid,” start at 19:47, though I’d suggest you watch the whole damn thing. You’ll be glad you did.
 

 

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
Guided by Voices make their drunken TV debut on ‘The Jon Stewart Show’
05.19.2017
10:39 am

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
Jon Stewart
Guided By Voices


 
Before he took over the hosting duties of The Daily Show in 1999, comedian Jon Stewart had his very own late-night talk show, The Jon Stewart Show, which aired weeknights on MTV. The short-lived program lasted just two seasons (1993-1995) but despite its failure to garner high ratings, Stewart would achieve much fanfare among the MTV clientele. Besides launching Stewart’s career as a TV host, The Jon Stewart Show boasted an impressive list of musical guests, many getting exposure to a mainstream audience for the first time. Memorable performances include those by Quicksand, Killing Joke, Slayer, Body Count, The Breeders, Marilyn Manson, Sunny Day Real Estate, Bad Religion, Rocket from the Crypt, Naughty by Nature, Danzig, Warren Zevon, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Notorious BIG, Redd Kross, and many more.
 
The sixty-fourth episode of The Jon Stewart Show saw appearances by celebrity guests Anthony LaPaglia, Lisa Rinna, Matt Borlenghi and featured the television debut of lo-fi indie rock heroes Guided by Voices. The performance, which aired on March 30th in 1995, contained three numbers from GBV’s seminal album Alien Lanes, which would be released later that week on Matador. Almost as noteworthy as Guided by Voices’ relentless musical output of simplistic rock ballads (under two minutes), was their celebrated pastime of bigtime boozing. Their alcoholic aspirations were even pursued on live television performances, as vocalist Robert Pollard can be seen throughout the first half gripping a red Solo cup—the sign of a pro (see also Bannon, Steve) just moments away from full-blown inebriation.
 

GBV perform “King and Caroline” into “Motor Away”
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Bennett Kogon | Leave a comment
Some beauties and some beasts: Cheeky vintage photos of glamorous girls and gorillas
05.19.2017
10:34 am

Topics:
Amusing
Animals
Sex

Tags:
Wonder Woman
burlesque
gorillas
Vanity


Vanity canoodling with her pal ‘Lobo’ played by actor Richard Sargent from the 1980 film ‘Tanya’s Island.’
 
Last year I did a post that featured images of famous movie monsters carrying around pretty girls from notable films and lesser known B-movies like 1958’s Monster of the Campus that stars some sort of weird gorilla/monster/man hybrid. Anyway, since I’m always creeping around in the past for interesting things to entertain you with as well as to help provide a short distraction from the Trump shenanigans and other shitty news of the last few days, I revisited the topic, adjusting my search criteria to uncover images of charismatic apes cavorting around with hot chicks. And as you may already be aware, this strangely sexy mashup was a pretty popular trend back in the day, and burlesque performances would often feature an amorous gorilla on the prowl for poon. There were/are also a large number of films that fall into the generally campy “Beauty and the Beast” category. And then there are the many iterations of King Kong that continue to captivate filmgoers to this day. So let’s get to it, shall we?

I’ve posted several images of guys in gorilla suits and their female companions, or perhaps captives at times, below. And I have to tell you that I quite literally had to forcibly cut myself off from searching for them because the more I looked the more I found. There is even a website called Hollywood Gorilla Men that pays homage to the actors who wore the hulking ape suits throughout the years. It includes photos from films, print media and so much more that it makes one’s head spin. That said, you can be sure that this is the greatest, very best, most comprehensive post to showcase images of scantily clad chicks and beastly gorillas out there, including images of Wonder Woman Lynda Carter and Prince’s sexy muse Vanity (pictured at the top of this post) hanging out with their gorilla pals. Some are sort of NSFW.
 

Another shot of Vanity and “Lobo” from the 1980 film ‘Tanya’s Island.’
 

A shot of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, from ‘Wonder Woman vs Gargantua’ (season one, episode seven, 1976).
 

 

 
More monkey men with hot chicks, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Fixed It’: Portraits without a face
05.19.2017
10:12 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
paintings
portraits
Henrietta Harris

01fixedit.jpg
 
When we look at portrait paintings, we tend to look first at the face to find a connection with the subject and glean some understanding of their life experience. Portraits were once a symbol of status and class. Nowadays, while there is still some status attached to such paintings they are more often portraiture which reflects the vision of the artist rather than just a record of the subject’s importance.

New Zealand artist Henrietta Harris paints portraits that make the viewer question the essence of what they are looking at. Her work ranges from the more traditional portraits to ones where the face is distorted by color and line or obscured by mist. These paintings suggest the world that is usually beyond the artist’s ken—the interior life of the subject, their flickering thoughts, and daydreams. In a way, they remind me of Francis Bacon who distorted his portraits to present “the brutality of fact”—a more authentic representation of the subject.

A graduate of the Auckland University of Technology, Henrietta’s most recent series of paintings Fix It present well-crafted portraits finished with a slather of pink or gold paint sprayed across the subject’s face. This small but telling act of vandalism inspires the questions: Who are we looking at? Is it important that we see their face? What can we understand from their position, their clothes, or even their hair? Why was this painting made? What do we learn from it?

There is also a bit fun going on here. The term “Fixed It” is reminiscent of some words used by Doña Cecilia Giménez, the woman who famously decided to fix Elias Garcia Martinez’s 19th-century fresco of Jesus Christ, Ecce Homo, by painting a new face onto the wall. The resulting portrait looked more like Fozzie Bear or a deranged Bob Ross than the “Son of God.” Henrietta’s splash of vandalism asks what is the value of portraiture?

I’ve been drawn back time and again to Harris’ paintings over the past few days as I try to answer some of these questions.

Henrietta Harris has produced paintings for album covers, poster designs, and a whole catalog of commercial work, all of which you can see here.
 
04fixedit.jpg
 
03fixedit.jpg
 
More of Henrietta Harris’ portraits, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Reporter by day, werewolf by night: ‘Wolf Guy,’ bizarre 70s Japanese horror gem starring Sonny Chiba
05.19.2017
10:12 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Sonny Chiba
Wolf Guy

Wolf Guy
 
On May 23rd, Arrow Video will release the wild 1975 Japanese film, Wolf Guy, on a two-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo set. It’ll be the home video debut of this unique motion picture, which, when it came out in the ‘70s, only appeared in Japanese theaters.

Wolf Guy stars Sonny Chiba as Akira Inugami, a reporter who also just happens to be the last of a clan of werewolves. Chiba, a celluloid legend in his home country, is most famous for the Street Fighter films, a series of martial arts flicks known for their extreme violence. Chiba super-fan Quentin Tarantino cast him as Hattori Hanzo in the Kill Bill films.
 
Sonny Chiba
 
Wolf Guy is a singular motion picture, one that incorporates an exciting variety of elements, including the supernatural, hallucinations, martial artistry, comic book superheroes, and Yakuza (the Japanese Mafia) crime dramas, as well as action, horror, film noir, and “pinky violence” films. All of these components are mixed together to create a mighty fine exploitation cinema stew. At its core, Wolf Guy is a well-paced mystery, with a theme of rebirth.
 
Singer
 
Blue and blood
 
Huh
 
In the Blu-ray/DVD booklet, included with the initial, limited run of the Arrow set, is a latter-day quote from Wolf Guy director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi:

There were all sorts of riots and demonstrations back then. I wanted to show those people a world that was even more absurd and crazy…I wish there were directors around today who could make films like these.

Me, too, sir. Me, too.
 
Hi there
 
After the jump, watch the web premiere of the opening minutes of ‘Wolf Guy.’

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
The Apprehension Engine: The most terrifying musical instrument of all time
05.19.2017
10:03 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Harry Partch
The Apprehension Engine
The VVitch


 
I recently fell down a rabbit-hole of “unusual musical instrument” videos while doing some research on aquaphones for some indie-horror soundtrack work I’m doing. While aquaphones and theremins are the go-to instruments when thinking of “classic” horror sounds, I happened to run across the ultimate terror instrument—a home-made device that can produce a wide array of horrific soundscape elements all in one compact unit.  “The Apprehension Engine,” as it is called, was created by Canadian guitar maker Tony Duggan-Smith as a “one off” for Mark Korven, who is best known for his soundtrack work on The VVitch.

The unit has a hurdy-gurdy-like mechanism, along with a spring reverb, suspended metal parts which can be used percussively or played with a bow, and a string which can be played with an Ebow. The echoey sounds coaxed from this machine are other-worldly and much more terrifyingly organic than similar tonalities which may be produced digitally through synthesis.

According to one of the comments on the video from a week ago, Duggan-Smith is considering the idea of producing more of these infernal machines. If that’s the case, I’d like to be added to the waiting list!

Fans of Harry Partch and other outsider musical instruments, take note!

See this amazing instrument in action, after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
This head of a serial-killing bandit has been preserved in a jar since 1841
05.19.2017
09:36 am

Topics:
Crime
History
Science/Tech

Tags:
serial killers
Diogo Alves

02alveshead.jpg
 
This is the head of Diogo Alves. Don’t be fooled by his seemingly placid, almost benign, yet surprised look. Diogo was a robber and a brutal serial killer who murdered some seventy people between 1836 and 1839, at the Aqueduto das Águas Livres (Aqueduct of Free Waters) over the Alcântara valley in Portugal. Diogo robbed his victims then tossed their bodies over the side of the 213-foot high aqueduct. At first, the local police thought this rather staggering number of inexplicable deaths were copycat suicides. When access to the aqueduct was closed to prevent any more “suicides,” Diogo formed a gang and turned his attention to the homes of the valley’s population. After a raid on the house of a local doctor, where Diogo murdered four of the people inside, he was arrested and sentenced to death by hanging in February 1841.

His execution coincided with the rise of the bogus science of phrenology. It was suggested by physicians that Diogo’s head be preserved in formaldehyde for examination in order to determine whether there were any signs or abnormalities in the shape of his skull that could explain why he committed such terrible crimes. This may seem utterly fantastic today, but it’s worth noting that the scientific desire to find some physical cause for behavior is not new. As recently as just after the Second World War, American scientists obtained sections of the brain removed from the skull of executed Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. This gray matter was examined in a bid to ascertain whether there was any physical cause to Il Duce’s anti-Semitic and racist beliefs.

Diogo’s well-preserved head still remains in a glass jar at the University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Medicine.

See more pictures of Diogo’s head and the aqueduct where he committed his crimes here.
 
07diogoportrait1840.jpg
A portrait of Diogo Alves from 1840.
 
01alveshead.jpg
Photo: Rafaela Ferraz.
 
See more pictures of Diogo Alves’ head, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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