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Waxwork Records, the leader in beautifully packaged soundtracks on vinyl (plus a DM premiere)
05.25.2016
01:40 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
soundtracks
Waxwork Records

Waxwork Records
 
I love movie soundtracks. The best films usually have awesome scores (which is part of what makes them extraordinary), so whenever I really dig a particular flick I almost always NEED the soundtrack. I used to scour the used LP bins, searching for soundtracks that I wasn’t even sure existed—keep in mind this was pre-web, before you could easily look up such information. I’m not a “vinyl only” guy, but the size of LP packaging (especially if it’s a gatefold sleeve) seems to go hand in hand with the larger-than-life images projected on a movie screen. I’m especially drawn to horror scores from the ‘70s and ‘80s, when greats like John Carpenter and Goblin were creating amazingly frightening works that stand on their own as incredible pieces of music.

These days, there are a number of independent record labels that specialize in putting out vintage soundtracks on vinyl, but one label clearly stands out from the pack, and that is Waxwork Records. The label issues stellar, creative packages, complete with new liner notes, high-quality jackets, and thick pressings on colored vinyl that often reference the movie itself. New album artwork is also commissioned for every release, with Dave Rapoza of Marvel Comics creating the images for Waxwork’s latest: an expanded edition of the soundtrack for the cult classic The Warriors (1979). Barry De Vorzon’s spooky, pulsating synth rock score—complete and on vinyl for the first time—sounds fantastic. Like many Waxwork releases, it’s going fast, with the colored vinyl editions, including a deluxe package, already out of print.
 
The Warriors
The Warriors

In just a few short years, Waxwork has put together an impressive discography of 21 titles, many of which surely required a ton of legwork to secure the rights for. Perhaps their biggest coup was landing the original soundtrack and the complete score for the monumental Taxi Driver (1976). Penned by the legendary Bernard Herrmann—arguably the greatest film composer ever—the dreamy jazz pieces by now are synonymous with the film. As Martin Scorsese writes in his liner notes: “You can’t pull the images and the music apart. There’s no point in trying.”
 
Taxi Driver
Taxi Driver

Earlier this year, Dangerous Minds told you about Lalo Schifrin’s unnerving, rejected score for The Exorcist—and guess what? Waxwork is readying that one for release as well. They’ve also got a 2016 subscription service, in which subscribers are the first to get their hands on five different titles—plus loads of other of goodies—including the previously unavailable soundtrack for the ‘80s slasher, My Bloody Valentine.
 
My Bloody Valentine
 
My Bloody Valentine package
First looks at Waxwork’s ‘My Bloody Valentine’ package

More on the MBV release in a bit. First, I had a bunch of questions for the co-founder and CEO of the label, Kevin Bergeron, which were asked via email.

When did you start Waxwork Records? What was the impetus?

Kevin Bergeron: Waxwork Records launched in January 2013. The label was started out of necessity, really. I had played and toured in punk bands for many years, and I truly enjoy being in a recording studio and then pressing vinyl. Playing in punk bands for years is good conditioning for running your own business. You learn a lot on your own. There’s lots of discovery and character building skills you acquire that you just can’t learn anywhere else. I live in New Orleans, and it’s a very poor city where not very many people are motivated to do much of anything. I knew that when my last band split I wanted to continue working, putting out music. I was seriously broke, but I really went for it and started Waxwork with a lot of intensity and attitude. I knew that I didn’t have a lot to fall back on. Before Waxwork, I was a cremator at a mausoleum and after that a student majoring in biology. Just depressing stuff. I needed to make music in some form and put it out. I walked away from everything else, and started Waxwork with my partner, Suzy Soto. We pushed very hard, and still do now, over three years later.
 
Rosemary's Baby
Rosemary’s Baby

How do you think that Waxwork stands out from the pack of other labels that specialize in vinyl-only pressings of vintage movie soundtracks? And why exclusively vinyl?

Kevin Bergeron: Waxwork’s releases are the most deluxe, definitive, and true to the way the audio was originally intended to be heard. We seek out the original master tapes. We work from those tapes because they’re the very first recorded source of the soundtracks that we release. Like, those tapes were in the studio with the performers, recording everything in real time.

I use this example often, but it’s very true: If you hold up a Waxwork release in one hand and a record from a different label in another hand, you’re going to realize quickly that a Waxwork release is of better quality. That a lot of thought, time, effort, and man hours went into creating it. That it’s worth your time. Worth owning. That’s how we stand out, at least, amongst the other record labels specializing in soundtracks. Waxwork isn’t a hobby for us, or something that we divide up our time with something else. We exclusively run Waxwork. So, we put a lot of effort into everything.

Why vinyl? Because it’s the sexiest way to listen to music. With a decent stereo set up, it sounds the best to me. It’s a really fun, interactive way to experience recorded music, as well.
 
C.H.U.D.
C.H.U.D.: “Toxic Waste Puddle” vinyl

Much more after the jump, including an exclusive listen to two side-long tracks from the My Bloody Valentine set…..

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
Admit it, you want to hear what stoner metal masters Fu Manchu did with DEVO’s ‘Freedom of Choice’
05.25.2016
01:30 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
DEVO
Fu Manchu


 
Orange County isn’t known for exporting cultural phenomena that DM readers love—or should love—but damned if stoner rock band Fu Manchu doesn’t belong on at the top of that short list.

Fu Manchu has been plugging away since the early 1980s, having churned out 11 memorable albums from 1994 onward. Their best album is probably 1997’s The Action Is Go—it clocked in at #26 on Metal Storm’s list of the “Top 100 Stoner Metal Albums”—but it’s the band’s 2000 release King of the Road that catches our interest today.
 

 
As Ned Raggett pointed out in his complimentary Allmusic review of the album, King of the Road may have seemed like just another stoner rock effort, but the album does cohere as an homage to van culture and the devil-may-care freedoms that are (by this time) practically synonymous with the advent of the automobile:
 

In as much as there’s a theme to King of the Road beyond the basics of driving, drugs, and that demon rock & roll, it’s driving—there’s a reason why the cover and internal art features a slew of great ‘70s-era photos from a massive van rally. The one shot of the fully leather-covered interior of one mobile love nest, complete with black curtains, about says it all. Then there’s the megachugging title track (“King of the road says you move too slow!”), “Hell on Wheels,” “Boogie Van,” and so forth—call it a concept album that doesn’t waste time with elves and yogis.

 
As the capper to the album, Fu Manchu reached back two decades for a particularly infectious anthem celebrating—if indeed it does—liberty American-style, to wit DEVO’s hit “Freedom of Choice,” which came off the Akron band’s terrific 1980 album of the same name.

The selection is all the more fitting when you realize that DEVO’s video for that song was every bit as much a tribute to skateboard culture as the cover of Fu Manchu’s The Action Is Go......
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘An experiment waiting to happen’: A brief history of ‘Two Tone Britain’

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Jerry Dammers: the father of Two Tone records
 
Two Tone was a specifically British, or more accurately English, musical genre that came out of punk and ska in the late 1970s. The roots of Two Tone can be traced back to the arrival of West Indians to England—the so-called “Windrush Generation”—under the British Nationality Act of 1948. This act gave British citizenship to all people living in Commonwealth countries and full rights of entry and settlement in the UK. With the arrival of these Commonwealth citizens came ska and reggae music, which was slowly adopted by the white working class.

Most youth music is exclusive—it’s old versus young; hip versus square; mod versus rocker; slacker versus yuppie; black versus white. Few musical genres are totally or even try to be totally inclusive—there is a built-in snobbishness that comes with the package. The osmosis of ska and Afro-Carribean culture into the white British culture pointed a way towards a truly inclusive musical genre—Two Tone. It was, as Two Tone singer Pauline Black once said, “an experiment waiting to happen.”

During the 1960s, Skinheads took ska as their own—but the growing racism of the skinhead movement led to their ostracization. Reggae replaced ska—but the skins hated reggae’s laid-back, spliffed-up vibe. Skinheads became suedeheads. Popular music moved onto glam rock, heavy metal, and prog rock. Then punk arrived in 1976. A new generation of youngsters saw that the means of music production could be theirs.
 
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Two Tone pioneers The Specials.
 
Jerry Dammers was a young musician in Coventry. He had been a fellow traveler in various youth movements—a hippie, a skinhead, a punk—but his first love was ska. Dammers took the energy of punk with the rhythms of ska and created a new genre of music known as Two Tone—an inclusive, socially aware, “danceable earfest.” Dammers formed the Specials AKA with like-minded youngsters and the best of local talent. The Specials pioneered Two Tone music. They got a record deal that allowed Dammers to set up his Two Tone record label. Its first release was The Specials with “Gangsters” on the A-side and Pauline Black and the Selecter—a band made up in the studio—on the B-side. Dammers quickly signed up the Beat (a.k.a. the English Beat), London band Madness, Bad Manners, the Bodysnatchers and even Elvis Costello and the Attractions.

Two Tone’s iconic black and white label design (an image created by Dammers that was loosely based on a photograph of Pete Tosh from the Wailing Wailers) was a standard for the fans’ style—a mix of Rude Boy and Mod—baggy suit, white shirt, black tie, and porkpie hat. Two Tone brought black and white together and although The Specials could sometimes be didactic—they sent out a political message that united the young.

The whole story is well told by those at its heart and from those who were most influenced by it in Two Tone Britain—a thoroughly enjoyable documentary that makes you realize what at its best music can achieve. (The video embedded below looks suspiciously unavailable, but we assure you, as of the time of posting, you can click on it and watch it!)
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
What advertisements for Philip K. Dick’s Ubik spray might look like
05.25.2016
11:11 am

Topics:
Advertising
Literature

Tags:
Philip K. Dick
Ubik


The marvelous cover for the first hardcover edition, 1969
 
For those who enjoy their realities getting fucked with, there’s no better writer for that than the great Philip K. Dick, and among his many unsettling works, his novel Ubik is held in unusually high esteem.

Ubik is about a mission to a moon base that includes Joe Chip, a technician who works for Glen Runciter’s “prudence organization,” and 10 cohorts. The mission ends in a fatal explosion, but who lived and survived that explosion is a puzzle the book never quite reveals.
 

 
It’s a bewildering mindfuck of a book, featuring routinized space travel, psychics and “anti-psychics,” a character who can alter reality by traveling to the past, and a mysterious (and mystical) product called Ubik (same root as “ubiquitous”) that comes in a spray can and serves as a slippery metaphor for God itself.

One brilliant aspect of the book is the devilishly ambiguous ending—as Dick’s wife Tessa wrote,
 

Many readers have puzzled over the ending of Ubik, when Glen Runciter finds a Joe Chip coin in his pocket. What does it mean? Is Runciter dead? Are Joe Chip and the others alive? Actually, this is meant to tell you that we can’t be sure of anything in the world that we call ‘reality.’ It is possible that they are all dead and in cold pac or that the half-life world can affect the full-life world. It is also possible that they are all alive and dreaming.

 
Ubik was selected for inclusion on Time magazine’s list (compiled in 2010) of the 100 greatest novels in the English language written after 1923. As Lev Grossman wrote in Time, “From the stuff of space opera, Dick spins a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you’ll never be sure you’ve woken up from.”

A few years ago a Deviant Art user going by the handle martinacecilia created three alluring posters advertising the benefits of Ubik, using a retro style and adapting “mostly vintage ads of Coca-cola.”
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Game of Thrones’ Hodor door stoppers
05.25.2016
10:55 am

Topics:
Television

Tags:
Game of Thrones
door stoppers
Hodor


 
Okay, so I’m going to have to keep this post spoiler-free for all you Game of Thrones fans who haven’t seen the latest episode yet. All I’m going to do is park this delightful Hodor door stopper right here without explanation and let you all know it’s available on Etsy for $25.00. You can get it here.

I’ve found other Hodor door stoppers (featured below) but I have no idea if they’re available for purchase yet.


 

 

 
via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Unsettling paintings capture a grim, post-apocalyptic future
05.25.2016
10:18 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Fred Einaudi


“Patriot,” an oil painting by Fred Einaudi
 
According to an interview from 2013, artist Fred Einaudi once took one of those bullshit “career day” quizzes in school, which duly spat out the galling result that he was a good candidate to someday be driving a bus for a living. Thankfully, Einaudi, who was already voraciously drawing monsters by the time he was in the second grade, didn’t follow that line of advice; thanks to the encouragement of his high school art teacher, a man named John Robinson, he followed his true calling, painting.
 

“The Chocolate Donut”
 
After giving art school a try for a year, the San Francisco-based Einaudi dropped out, preferring to draw inspiration from artists like American painter Andrew Wyeth. He was driven by a need to create “pictures out there that don’t exist and which you have a need to see.”

Einaudi’s images feel distinctly like foreshadowing when it comes to the plight our planet is currently undergoing with respect to the rising global temperatures—many of them deliver a one-two punch to the gut as they lead the viewer to ponder a time in the future where humans will be forced to exist in a world that is very different than the one we are currently collectively destroying on a daily basis.

That said, I am not only a fan of Mr. Einaudi’s gorgeously grim art, but also that he gave zero fucks about his “assigned” career path and instead followed one that he was clearly destined for on his own terms. More of Einaudi’s gloomy and ominous paintings follow, many of them delightfully NSFW.
 

“The Mermaid”
 

“Buttonmaker”
 
Many more of Einaudi’s grim masterpieces after the jump…...
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Slayer, Maiden, Metallica and more in an amazing trove of ‘80s heavy metal shirts
05.25.2016
10:10 am

Topics:
Fashion
Music

Tags:
heavy metal
t-shirts


 
God bless the human magpies, for without them, finds like this wouldn’t come to light: Erna “Shelly” Hammer, an erstwhile DJ for the once-mighty Z Rock chain of heavy metal radio stations (under the name “Shelly Steel,” because evidently “Hammer” was somehow an insufficiently metal surname on its own…?), is exhibiting her collection of metal and alt-rock t-shirts, ranging in vintage from the early ‘80s to the mid ‘90s. In her lifetime of collecting, she’s discarded very little—what’s on display is a fraction of what she’s kept from her many years as an avid concertgoer, and from her time on the promo gravy train.

This is a good place to mention that this has been been a good week for vintage metal tees—Craig “The Human Clock” Giffen posted an amazing bit of pop culture archaeology (formatted in an amazingly archaic HTML style) endeavoring to catalog all the t-shirts spotted in Jeff Krulik’s classic short documentary Heavy Metal Parking Lot. By all means, take a minute to check it out, this post’ll still be here when you get back.

If you happen to be in Northeast Ohio, you can see these shirts on display in a show called “You Are What You Wear” at poster artist Derek Hess’ eponymous gallery through mid-summer. They aren’t being offered for sale piece-by-piece, but when she talked with us about her, um, wardrobe archive, Hammer implied that selling them off in a single lot for the right sum wouldn’t be out of the question.
 

 
Hammer: The first real rock shows I went to, I was 15, and this guy I worked with at this diner first took me with him and his friends to see Aerosmith, and then a few months later, Kiss. I was in awe. I didn’t really get to go to too many more shows until I was driving, so I mail ordered shirts, whatever I could get.
 

 
Hammer: I had an awful lot, but I wore them—you can see some of them are pretty beat up, stretched, over-laundered. I bought them to wear, there was no intention of collecting. The only ones I got rid of were when I moved, I got rid of a bunch that were promo when I worked in radio, for bands I didn’t really care about. I got rid of a whole crate! All of the shirts from bands that meant something to me, I hung on to.
 

 
Hammer:  I never thought about selling them. When I got asked to do the exhibit, I was even skeptical about that, I asked “do people really want to look at a bunch of shirts?” and they assured me it would be cool. But there’s always a price on everything, you know. And eventually, after turning 50, it’s normal to want to start downsizing. So they could be for sale. But there’d still be one or two I’d have to hang on to.
 

 
Hammer: The one thing I love about shirts, it’s kind of like a club. When you see someone in a concert shirt by a band you like somewhere, especially if it’s a remote place where you don’t expect it, you feel a brotherhood or sisterhood with that person you know saw the same show as you did—they’re conversation starters!
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
That time the Clash appeared in Martin Scorsese’s ‘The King of Comedy’
05.24.2016
05:50 pm

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
The Clash
Martin Scorsese


 
An interesting cinematic footnote to the Clash’s time spent in New York City in the early 1980s—while they recorded their sprawling three-record Sandinista album—is their “blink and you missed ‘em” appearance in Martin Scorsese’s dark classic The King of Comedy.
 

 
Apparently both Scorsese and Robert De Niro were huge Clash fans and saw them during their famous series of seventeen concerts at Bonds International Casino in Times Square during May and June of 1981. Aside from the band going out to bars a few times with the director and actor, it’s mentioned in several Clash biographies—and several about Scorsese, too—that Gangs of New York was originally something he envisioned for the group!
 

 
Mick Jones, Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon and some of their cohorts—sometime manager Kosmo Vinyl, singers Ellen Foley and Pearl Harbour and filmmaker Don Letts are credited in The King of Comedy as “Street Scum.”

Here the are in action, take a look:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Secret Life of the Human Pups’ reveals the men who like to dress up as dogs
05.24.2016
02:06 pm

Topics:
Animals

Tags:
cosplay


 
Tomorrow evening large numbers of U.K. viewers are expected to tune into what is being hyped as a startling documentary on Channel 4 called Secret Life of Human Pups. The documentary is about a fascinating subculture of men who have a secret predilection for dressing up as dogs in their spare time, including the donning of special plastic dog outfits, sleeping in cages, eating dog biscuits—they especially adore going out for walks on a leash, or on a “lead” as the British term it.

This morning, on a talk show called This Morning on ITV, British viewers received a sneak preview of the documentary’s content when a fellow named Tom, who likes to dress up as a Dalmatian named Spot, appeared for an interview with a close friend and former fiancée named Rachael. To put it mildly, the program has provided many Britons with a juicy fodder for water cooler conversation.

Tom is a sound and lighting technician in everyday life, and he has spent more than four thousand pounds—that’s nearly $6,000—on his canine accoutrements. Tom has a custom-made rubber suit and a dog crate that he uses for his nighttime slumbers. He says, “It doesn’t look comfortable, but you can curl up in different ways, there is more space than you think.”

According to the documentary, as many as 10,000 “secret pups” live in the United Kingdom. Many of them insist that the practice is not sexual in nature but is rather a response to stress in daily life, a reversion to a simpler state of being. As Tom says, the practice is “an obsession and an escapism. It would be a very boring life if there was no puppy play.”

Baffled viewers took to Twitter to express their befuddlement—and also to register their skepticism that the practice has no sexual component. One woman named Kirsty tweeted: “I’m sorry but him saying it isn’t a sexual thing is lying! It’s extreme bondage gone weird.”

One man quoted only by his puppy name Dynamo, commented, “A lot of them work in high pressure jobs and control a lot of people, they are CEOs and it is a way for them to express themselves in a way they can’t as a human.” Another fellow who becomes a rottweiler named Chip says “When I am not running around on all fours I work in catering.”

After the documentary airs tomorrow night, you can expect a whole new round of office conversation to start up again.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Kicking Against the Pricks: How Pauline Boty’s pioneering Pop art bucked the art world’s boy’s club

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Pauline Boty was an artist, activist, actress and model. She was one of the leading figures of the British Pop art movement during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Her contemporaries were Peter Blake, Derek Boshier and David Hockney. But when Boty tragically died at the height of her fame in 1966, her work mysteriously disappeared. Not one of her paintings was exhibited again until 1993.

Boty was all but forgotten by the time a cache of her paintings was rediscovered on a farm in the English countryside in the early 1990s. The paintings had been stored in an old barn for safe-keeping by her brother. Their rediscovery placed Boty firmly back into the center of the Pop art boy’s club.

Throughout her life, Boty kicked against the men who tried to hold her back. Born into a Catholic family in 1938, her father (a by-the-book accountant) wanted his daughter to marry someone respectable and raise a family. Instead she chose to study art to her father’s great displeasure. In 1954, Boty won a scholarship to Wimbledon School of Art.

At college, Boty was dubbed the “Wimbledon Bridget Bardot” because of her blonde hair and film star looks. She went onto study lithography and stained glass design. However, her desire was to study painting. When she applied to the Royal College of Art in 1958, it was suggested by the male tutors that she would be more suited studying stained glass design as there were so few women painters. Though Boty enrolled in the design course she continued with her ambitions to paint.

Encouraged by the original Pop artist Eduardo Paolozzi, Boty began painting at her apartment. Her makeshift studio soon became a meeting point for her friends (Derek Marlowe, Celia Birtwell) and contemporaries (Blake, Boshier, Hockney and co) to meet, talk and work. Boty started exhibiting her collages and paintings alongside these artists and her career as a painter commenced.

In 1962, Boty was featured in a documentary about young British pop artists Pop Goes the Easel alongside Peter Blake, Derek Boshier and Peter Phillips. The film was directed by Ken Russell who created an incredibly imaginative and memorable portrait of the four artists. Each was given the opportunity to discuss their work—only Boty did not. Instead she collaborated with Russell on a very prescient dream sequence.
 

 
It opens with Boty laying out her paintings and drawings on the floor of a long circular corridor—actually the old BBC TV Center. As she examines her work a group of young women appear behind her. These women walk all over her artwork. Then from out of an office door, a nightmarish figure in a wheelchair appears and chases Boty along the seemingly endless twisting corridors. Boty eventually escapes into an elevator—only to find the ominous figure waiting inside.

Her performance in Russell’s film led to further acting roles—in Alfie with Michael Caine, with James Fox on the stage, Stanley Baxter on television and again with Russell in a small role opposite Oliver Reed in Dante’s Inferno. Boty was photographed by David Bailey, modeled for Vogue, regularly appeared as an audience dancer on Ready, Steady, Go!, and held legendary parties at her studio to which everyone who was anyone attended—from the Stones to Bob Dylan. Boty was the bright flame to whom everyone was attracted.

She was a feminist icon—living her life, doing what she wanted to do, and not letting men from hold her back. But the sixties were not always the liberated decade many Boomers would have us believe. Boty’s critics nastily dismissed her as the Pop art pin-up girl. The left-wing party girl. A dumb blonde. Of course, they were wrong—but shit unfortunately sticks.

Boty’s work became more politically nuanced. She criticised America’s foreign policy in Vietnam; dissected the unacknowledged sexism of everyday life; and celebrated female sexuality. She had a long affair with the director Philip Saville—which allegedly inspired Joseph Losey’s film Darling with Dirk Bogarde and Julie Christie. Then after a ten day “whirlwind romance” Boty married Clive Goodwin—a literary agent and activist. She claimed he was the only man who was interested in her mind.

In 1965, Boty was nearing the top of her field when she found she was pregnant. During a routine prenatal examination, doctors discovered a malignant tumor. Boty refused an abortion. She also refused chemotherapy as she did not want to damage the fetus. In February 1966, Boty gave birth to a daughter—Boty Goodwin. Five months later in July 1966, Pauline Boty died. Her last painting was a commission for Kenneth Tynan’s nude revue Oh! Calcutta! called “BUM.”
 
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Pauline Boty in her studio holding the painting ‘Scandal’ in 1963.
 
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‘A Big Hand’ (1960).

More of Pauline Boty’s paintings plus Ken Russell’s ‘Pop Goes the Easel,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Adventures of Schoolly D: A Gangster’s Story
05.24.2016
01:24 pm

Topics:
Hip-hop
Movies
Music

Tags:
rap
Schoolly D


 
At the risk of sounding like a middle-aged white guy character in a Mike Judge film, the improbable soundtrack to my life for the past two weeks has been Schoolly motherfuckin’ D. For whatever reason, I pulled out an old CD of his—maybe for the first time this millennium—to listen to in the car the other day and now I can’t get enough of it. Alone in the car I play “P.S.K. (What Does It Mean?)” at an ear-splitting volume that I’m pretty sure bounces my conservative European automobile like a low-rider with tricked-out suspension. I probably look like an idiot, I grant you, but I don’t really care. This shit is amazing. I appreciated it when it came out—I saw him live—but why it captured my attention so much again thirty years later I couldn’t tell you. It just did.

Probably the original original gangster rapper—even Ice-T admitted in his autobiography that he might’ve taken a bite out of Schoolly D‘s style—the Philadelphia native, on his self-released records at least, perfectly played the role of the scary black gang member/rapper, alluding to, cataloging and boasting about the nefarious activities of the “Park Side Killers,” the local posse of bad boys he ran with. Schoolly—real name Jesse Weaver Jr.—was backed by his DJ Code Money and rapped about violence, guns, raunchy sex, “bitches,” crack and “cheeba”—Salt-n-Pepa or Run DMC were never going to mention such things, or use the “N” word in their raps. Schoolly D shied away from none of these topics or that word.
 

 
He told the Philadelphia Citypaper about where his lyrical inspiration came from in a 2004 interview:

“A couple of guys I know, Abdullah, Disco Man and my man Manny, were like, “Why don’t you write a song about us, why don’t you write a song about Parkside Killers?’ It was one of the easiest songs I’d ever written. I wrote it sitting at my mom’s dining-room table, smoking some weed at 3 o’clock in the morning.”

Armed with his newfound inspiration and a large amount of weed, Schoolly hit the studio. Out of necessity he was forced into recording in a studio designed for classical music.

“They had these big plate reverbs, that’s why you got the “PSK’ sound because nobody used the real shit. We did everything live, and if you listen you can hear my fingers programming the drum machine. We just kept getting higher and higher and higher, and smoking and smoking and all of a sudden the song just took on this whole other life because we were just so fucked up. It just made this sucking sound like “boosh, boosh’ and we just looked at each other and were like, “Yeah, do more of that shit.’”

The “boosh” sound is what really made “PSK” stand out as something that, until that time, had never been done. The tweaked-out reverb bass caused a sensation.

“I got home and I put the tape in the tape recorder and I was like, “What the fuck did I do?’ Nobody had ever done something like that before, with all the reverb, nobody. And I was like, “I gotta go back and take some of that reverb out because this shit just sounds kinda crazy.’ But I didn’t know that everyone else was making tapes and passing out copies to everyone in Parkside, so by the time that I wanted to go back to the studio it was already out everywhere, and motherfuckers was going crazy, they was like, “That’s the baddest shit we ever heard in our whole fucking life.’”

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Lee Ving of Fear—now in bobblehead form
05.24.2016
09:50 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Punk

Tags:
Throbbleheads
Lee Ving


 
Fear singer/honcho Lee Ving is a divisive figure who’s been called a LOT of things ending in “-head.” The unabashedly juvenile and boneheaded misanthropy in Fear’s lyrics makes him a hero to anti-PC reactionaries (he’s called himself an “equal opportunity offender” in interviews, which right there is a huge dog whistle), and a juvenile misanthropic bonehead to everyone else. He’s basically a loudmouth who unabashedly speaks his mind, a quality considered highly praiseworthy by people who happen to think like him. I can think of another figure who appeals to reactionaries for “speaking exactly what’s on his mind.” I’ll shut up now.

But whatever you can say about Ving’s assholiness, his band left a pretty remarkably big musical stain on Hardcore. In their 39 year history (of the original band only Ving remains) they released only two truly significant albums—1982’s The Record and 1985’s More Beer. Since then their output has been paltry, sporadic, and lacking in fire. It’s clear the band exhausted its trove of ideas early; their last album, 2012’s The Fear Record, is merely a re-recording of their debut. But that debut was sufficiently loaded with classics that it practically constitutes a best-of in its own right. That, and the publicity generated by their infamously chaotic Saturday Night Live appearance (the were invited by John Belushi) made the utterly misanthropic and hostile Fear, for better or for worse, the band civilians thought of when they thought of Hardcore at all, which let’s face it, didn’t do punk a whole lot of favors in the public relations department. As with all things Ving, your mileage may vary.

So whether you think he’s a savior or a destroyer, it’s fairly inarguable that he genuinely deserves the honor of his own bobblehead figure. Ving lately joins DEVO, Descendents, Mike Watt, Wendy O. Williams, and GG Allin, among other underground heroes, in Aggronautix’s “Throbblehead” line of punk rock bobbleheads. He’s the 30th punk icon so honored, and his edition of figures is limited to 1000, numbered. And it looks a damn shot cuddlier than the real-life model. If these don’t sell, maybe Aggronautix can lop off the middle finger, scrub the Fear logos, and try to pass these off as Joe Strummer.
 

 

 
Pre-orders are happening now at Aggronautix’s web site. The figures are expected to ship this summer.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Your worst fears have become creepy, nightmare-fueled comics
05.24.2016
09:47 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:
books
phobias
Fran Krause


A reader submitted phobia becomes a comic illustrated by Fran Krause.
 
When illustrator, filmmaker and academic Fran Krause started his “Deep Dark Fears” series of web-based comics, the ideas sprang from his own feelings of dread about getting chopped in half by an elevator door or perhaps the things that creep around the house when the lights are out. It wasn’t long before Krause started illustrating submissions from his fans, with rather terrifying results.
 

It could happen!
 
Born in Upstate New York, Krause now lives in Los Angeles and teaches animation at the California Institute of the Arts. Krause’s Tumblr is regularly updated with new submissions from readers who suffer from various phobias that many of us share—such as the fear of the dark or flying to more elaborate, unfounded fears like being shredded to bits by a subway turnstile or having your finger chopmed off by a worm with teeth that lives in your nose. When pouring through Krause’s Tumblr I noticed that many of the stories that were submitted came from stories they were told when they were children by their parents, grandparents, mentors, or older siblings. Although I really don’t understand the benefit of telling your kid to not worry about sweeping up breadcrumbs from the kitchen floor after dinner because that’s what the dead people in the house eat at night. Yikes.

If you dig what you see in this post, 101 of Krause’s nightmare-fueled comics are a part of the 2015 book called Deep Dark Fears. So grab some No-Doz and read on. If you need me, I’ll be under the bed.
 

 
More of your worst nightmares illustrated by Fran Krause after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
KISS, with the vocals half a step out of key, sound like drunk frat boys at a karaoke bar
05.24.2016
09:35 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
KISS


 
Post delivers.

Here’s KISS doing their 1979 hit off the Dynasty album, “I Was Made For Loving You”—remixed, sounding something like your favorite karaoke bar superstar.

The advent of games like Rock Band brought about a lot of classic pop songs being salvaged from their master tapes and separated into their core instrument tracks in order to facilitate gameplay. Clever hackers have been able to grab those separated tracks from the games, turn them into MOGG files, and an underground cottage industry has developed around remixers re-appropriating these isolated instrument sounds. This is partially responsible for the explosion in mashup songs over the past decade. Sometimes really amazing creations can be concocted using a guitar line from one song and a vocal from another.

Or you can do what YouTube user Pluffnub has done: take a bunch of beloved songs and pitch down only the vocals a half step… making them sound like retarded drunks.

The effect is beautifully subtle—it sounds off JUST ENOUGH to be fucked up, but it might take you a few seconds to notice just HOW fucked up.

Pluffnub has done several of these, including songs by Queen, Duran Duran, A-Ha, and Iron Maiden.

But this one is the best. “I Was Made For Loving You” by KISS. It really gets good on the choruses. It’s especially satisfying in light of Gene Simmons making such a turd out of himself lately.

“Feel the magic” after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘The Essential Paul Laffoley’ is the most mind-boggling coffee table art book of 2016 (or any year)
05.23.2016
04:12 pm

Topics:
Art
Books
Thinkers

Tags:
Paul Laffoley
Douglas Walla


 
Okay, okay so although I could probably definitely be accused of bias—the volume in question here is about a dear friend of nearly twenty years and edited by another close friend of exactly the same vintage (plus I blurbed it)—I strongly feel that the recent University of Chicago Press book The Essential Paul Laffoley: Works from the Boston Visionary Cell edited by Douglas Walla is a “document of seismic cultural importance.” I’m quoting myself here, but fuck it: I’m right.

When Paul Laffoley died last November at the age of 80, he left behind a vast archive of mind-boggling, awe-inspiring work. Huge paintings, elaborate drawings, models, handwritten journals, architectural blueprints, sci-fi inventions, essays. He was one of the great geniuses of the 20th century, although few people are aware of this fact. An eccentric genius to be sure, but a true Mount Olympus-level genius is what he was, make no mistake about it. This isn’t merely my opinion, it’s more a matter of objective fact. In due course—and I’m certain of this—the rest of the world is going to figure it out, too. I say this in all seriousness: The man was the Leonardo of our time. History will bear my bold statement out. (If you disagree, you just don’t know what you are talking about. See what I did there?)

But don’t worry, in the coming years the human race is going to figure this all out—of this I have complete confidence—and The Essential Paul Laffoley: Works from the Boston Visionary Cell will be the cornerstone of all future academic scholarship about the man, it’s both “Paul Laffoley 101” and the graduate level course in one volume. It was put together—a product of pure love and admiration—by the world’s #1 undisputed authority on the great artist’s work. Over the course of the past three decades, Paul Laffoley has been represented by Douglas Walla at Kent Fine Art in New York City. In a career going back to the 1970s, Walla has worked with artists like Francis Bacon, Richard Artschwager, Dorothea Tanning and Llyn Foulkes. He’s brokered deals for Giacometti’s, Picabia’s, Richter’s, Duchamp’s and even a few Rodins. In the cutthroat business of the New York art world, you couldn’t find a finer man than Doug.

The world isn’t always kind to the type of eccentric individual that Paul Laffoley was. History will record how very lucky he was to have met Douglas Walla when he did because otherwise he might have died in obscurity, instead of seeing vast museum-level surveys of his work mounted in London, Berlin and Paris during the final years of his life.

I sent Douglas Walla a few questions via email over the weekend and he sent them back to me this morning

Richard Metzger: How long did it take to prepare the book? 

Douglas Walla: The short answer is 27 years.

When I made the first studio visit to Paul’s Bromfield Street studio—the Boston Visionary Cell—in 1986, he was already working on Thanaton III. The lettering as such was not yet added, but it was certainly well underway.  I arrived at 10 am, and Paul immediately launched into a major—and almost trance-inducing—meditation on the manifestations of the painting. The next thing I knew, it was 2:00 pm, and thinking I had a plane to catch back to NYC at 6, I said, “How about that other painting?”  He simply said, “I’m not done yet” (meaning he wasn’t done with his explication of Thanaton III). So flying home, I thought, I need to do a book.  As a postscript, Thanaton III appears in the book published in 1989, but the lettering still had not yet been added.

I returned with a tape recorder, and I recorded “The Dream as the Initiation” which became chapter one of The Phenomenology of Revelation.  In all, between Paul, myself, and Jeanne Marie Wasilik, we recorded about 25 hours of dialogue with Paul, and that was edited down to eight chapters that would become the first book on Paul for which I acted as photo editor vetting the subjects touched upon, and Tony Morgan took a free hand in designing the final publication.

In the process, I developed a template we called a “thought form,” believing that the understanding of each individual work would be enhanced by a linguistic text plate to help the viewer more easily see what Paul was thinking. A complicated caption.

After the book was finished, I continued to work with Paul over the next twenty years compiling a thought form for each work we discussed.  So the archive progressed, and we paid particular attention getting good photography for each work, in that there was mounting interest in READING the paintings as they appeared in reproduction.

Paul and I collaborated for over 25 years building this archive, with the hopes of printing (analog) a catalogue raisonne of his work, and not placing it on the internet. I had the misfortune of posting 80 entries several years ago only to have it all copied, posted to another website unknown to me, and having the carefully edited texts violated and changed, and having his work reduced to collage, snippets, montages, wallpaper, etc.  So a book stands as a valid authority on the topic of Paul’s work without alterations by others.
 

 
Richard Metzger: How many additional paintings and drawings didn’t make the cut?

Douglas Walla: In that Paul never kept records of what he finished, when presented with the invitation by the University of Chicago Press to publish a monograph on Paul, I realized that a “Complete Works” book was almost impossible. There would always be other works coming to the surface, although I would state that only about 10 such works have come to my attention in the last decade. The format that was workable, conceptually as well as intellectually, was The Essential Paul Laffoley chronicling 100 works. 

What was left out were many of what Paul termed “nudes,” which were paintings without text. Further, there were commissioned works such as Hank Williams, and the Elvis series which do not appear, and many of the architectural three dimensional models he made which were in disrepair.  There was also Rubaiyat (75 sketches) that I only became aware of after death, and his uncompleted tarot deck which he worked on to the end, along with what would have been a major work entitled The Garden of Earthly Death.  There were ten large scale canvases unfinished at his death, and approximately 27 paintings that were unsigned, untitled, undated and never shown, all of which are omitted from the publication.
 

 
Richard Metzger: How would you describe your relationship with Paul? Obviously you were his gallerist and representative for decades, his close friend, his patron and #1 fan—you not only told the world about him, you actually invested a lot of money in his career, publishing his book when he was a complete unknown and so he that wouldn’t have to work and could produce more work. I’ve never said this to you before, but I always saw you as being the father figure in the relationship. Despite Paul being many years older than you, there was something childlike about him. The way you looked after him always seemed very paternal to me, but I want to hear your take on it.

Douglas Walla: The thing we all learned about Paul was his extreme generosity in terms of patience, good humor, and intimidating intellect.  Always pushing the outside of the envelope so to speak, I was endlessly challenged and stimulated by our association. He was a friend, and a pleasure, and gracious.  As his physical health began to deteriorate (and I think I was in denial that he was on a path to his final congestive heart failure), I became his travelmate certainly by 2009. When he injured himself in 2001—he fell off a ladder—I became his medical proxy sorting through extremely complicated medical issues concerning his diabetes and the impact it had in devastating his cardiovascular system.  Of course one of his legs was amputated. So by 2009, I tried to get him to all the things he longed to see and visit including Neuschwanstein, Dornach, Eiffel’s Apartment at the top of the Tower, the Space Needle—his bucket list. 

The only thing on that list he never saw was the completed book.
 

 
Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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