The 2016 election is going to be the most epiclyAmerican election in our country’s history, with all that this implies. You don’t have to be a psychic to predict that this one will be a barnstormer of high weirdness, goofy drama and unexpected twists and turns. It’ll blow 2008 out of the water and I think it’s already far surpassed 2012, which to be fair had its moments, too, but no Donald Trump or Sarah Palin.
And as if to conveniently illustrate my point of how volatile things have already gotten, here is some new polling courtesy of CNN (by way of AlterNet) that shows self-described Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders out-polling all three of the Republican Party’s major candidates (although he’s more or less tied with Jeb Bush).
If you limit the poll sample to just registered voters, Bush defeats Sanders by a single point.
This is nothing short of extraordinary news. This is one political story that isn’t about Donald Trump being at the top of the GOP field, it’s about the grumpy Socialist Senator from Vermont WHO CAN BEAT HIM IN A HEAD TO HEAD MATCH-UP.
I look at it this way: If, when all is said and done, it’s Hillary Clinton who is running against the eventual Republican nominee, hey, I will have no problem pulling the lever for her, because I would never vote for a Republican in a million years. But I am sure as shit going to be voting for Bernie Sanders in the primary, which is the vote—in Hillary Clinton’s case—that will count the most.
I strongly believe that either one of them, Sanders or Clinton, could and would, can and will, beat whoever the GOP nominates and polling backs that expectation up. But I’ve sent Bernie money twice and I just don’t think I’d ever send Hillary Clinton a single dime. I don’t actively dislike her, don’t get me wrong, but Bernie Sanders? He’s nothing less than a great American hero in my eyes.
Just sayin’... it’s going to get weird. Good weird. Deeply weird. Believe it.
I remember when this video went viral back in 2011. It’s of a young guy giving zero fucks while on a slingshot ride somewhere in Florida. Well, thanks to the Internet—where old memes and viral videos just won’t die—it’s reemerged again with a soundtrack of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.”
The longer the video goes on—especially when the guy locks eyes with the camera—the more ridiculous it becomes. Stay with it.
Alex Winter, best known for his roles in The Lost Boys and the two “Bill & Ted” movies with Keanu Reeves (and this infamous Butthole Surfers “home movie”), is developing a documentary on Frank Zappa, which he will direct from his own script and produce with Glen Zipper. The Zappa Family Trust has given its blessing to the untitled project.
“There has yet to be a definitive, authorized documentary on the extraordinary life and work of Frank Zappa,” Winter said. “I am beyond thrilled to be embarking on this journey. Our tale will be told primarily in Frank’s own words; he will be our guide through this journey.”
Winter expects the doc to be finished in time for release in 2017.
“This is not an easy story to tell and we trust that Alex truly understands the complex and multi-faceted man that my father was,” Zappa’s son Ahmet Zappa said.
This is excellent news indeed and it’s been a long time coming.
Below, Frank Zappa and the original Mothers of Invention performing “King Kong” in Essen, Germany, 1968:
Yesterday at our yoga class, a guy said to the twenty-something yoga instructor that her new hairstyle reminded him of the B-52s. She raised an eyebrow and looked at him questioningly, even annoyed, and asked “What is a B-52?”
My wife turned to me, sighed and declared “We’re old.”
True, but… how sad it is to think that someone—anyone—can go through their lives not knowing who the B-52s are! It’s unfair! And in that spirit I decided to revisit this post from 2011… for the kids!
The thing that I find most interesting about editing this blog and seeing the comments and being able to parse through a vast amount of information about our readership that we’ve got access to (even just between Google Analytics and Facebook Insights alone, that’s a helluva data set in our case) is that the largest segment of the Dangerous Minds audience—the 18-34 bloc—is, very often, finding out about many classic rock and punk, post punk and New Wave acts here for the first time or thereabouts. Then there are around 20% of the readers who were “there” when these things happened. To these readers, I would like to inform you that (and I admit this is a bit of a guesstimate, but one informed by reams of data, I can assure you) more of our readers than you might expect—by my reckoning 40%—have probably never even heard of DEVO.
You think I’m kidding, but I’m not kidding.
If you can’t tell from the title, I’m a B-52s fan. A pretty big one. They came into my life when I was a 13-year-old and have never left. I’ve seen them live numerous times and they have never failed to bring the house down (in fact, I once nervously wondered if they were going to literally bring down the balcony at Radio City Music Hall due to all the frenzied frugging to “Rock Lobster.” A balcony I was seated under, I might add). The B-52s are so good live that I once stood in one of the worst torrential downpours I’ve ever been caught in, for hours, so that I could get in the front row for a tiny pre-Cosmic Thing warm-up gig at a PAPER magazine party in New York. I was drenched from head to toe, soaked to the bone, but it was still one of the best concert experiences I’ve ever had. I was about four feet way from the band as they played. Heavenly!
Over the weekend, I downloaded an absolutely superb live B-52s video from 1983, a show from Dortmund, Germany (it’s easy to find, the quality is perfect) and I’ve watched it over and over again. It’s not like I needed to be convinced or anything, but I was reminded watching it of what an absolutely genius band they are. They’re so original that they fall into a category of one. What they do is a uniquely American art form. They’re a national intergalactic treasure
I intended just to do one big mega mega-post about the B-52s, but instead I’m going to do four or five posts about them because there’s just way too much “good stuff” out there to not share it here. Tons of it. They often made multiple music videos for their songs, so it can be hard to choose the best ones. I don’t want to crash anyone’s browser with the B-52s bounty, so I’m breaking it off into chunks. Here’s a selection of material from their classic first album, released in 1979:
Cindy Wilson stirred my teenage hormones mightily. Check out this performance of “Dance This Mess Around” recorded live on November 7th,1980 at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ. How cute was she back then, right? Be still my heart!
A rousing “Planet Claire” from Dortmund, Germany, 1983:
When I first saw this video, I was sure that it was shot in London—in 1966 that’s where the crazy fashion energy was, after all. But no, it wasn’t London at all, it was actually New York. I reckon that Matthew Weiner now wants to re-do Season 5 of Mad Men in its entirety just to find a way to work in these incredible bridal fashions. After all, that’s about when Don marries Megan, right? Such a wasted opportunity!!
A terrific find from Kelly Faircloth at Jezebel. The AP Archive headline for this clip is “Futuristic and outlandish fashions for brides from 1966,” but you really can’t beat Jezebel’s triumphant invocation of “SPACE BRIDES”!
These designs came from Edythe Vincent at Alfred Angelo—Vincent was actually Angelo’s wife, appropriately enough. I’m not 100% sure but I believe that the promotional text for this presentation ran,
Bridal gown for weddings in outer space! Styled by for Alfred Angelo’s “Bridal Fashions in the Year 2000” collection. Mod mini skirt of open air knit crochet stitch and vinyl plastic, with boots to match. The sky diver’s helmet lends an authentic feeling of jet propulsion for the forward look of the 21st century
Faircloth recommends scoring this wholly soundless bit of fashion footage (more than 8 minutes long!) with David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” Nailed it…...
No one is taking 69-year-old Robert Palmer—who claims to have found a caterpillar with a human-like face—seriously. According to reports, Toutle, Washington-based Palmer discovered the supposed human-faced caterpillar a few weeks ago on the side of a trough while giving his horse water. “My first thought was to crush it with my cane, then I thought, no, it looks so strange, I’m going to take a picture of it, ” said Palmer.
Palmer has done all the research that’s humanly possible to try to figure out exactly what kind of caterpillar he’s dealing with. “I’ve sent the picture to OMSI, the Portland Zoo, Fish & Wildlife, the Extension Service, The Master Gardeners. People either don’t respond or don’t know what kind it is. Some people aren’t taking this very seriously.”
Palmer says the photo he took is very real and very genuine.
I sent a picture to my grandson, he said ‘nice Photoshop grandpa’. I said I can’t even use my smart phone half the time, much less do some special computer effects. “I had to have the girls at the Shell station send the picture to the local TV station. He knows I wouldn’t lie about this,” said Palmer. The staff at Drew’s Shell in Toutle back him up.
Kay Hanke, who’s known Robert Palmer for over 50 years claims he’s no liar:
“It’s Bob, he wouldn’t lie about anything. He’s just really intrigued by what kind of caterpillar it is, and getting somebody to figure it out, that’s why he’s always talking about it.”
“One lady told me it looked like the devil” says Palmer, “I don’t want nothin’ to do with her if she’s actually seen the devil.”
Apparently Palmer tried like hell to keep the human-faced caterpillar alive, but sadly it died.
It seems obvious to me Palmer is dealing with a “Teddy Roosevelt caterpillar.” They’re a menace out here in Los Angeles.
Hunter S. Thompson LEGO mosaic. Made with 7,393 LEGO bricks
Andy Bauch, an artist and software developer from Queens, New York (now living and working in LA), creates his incredibly detailed mosaics using thousands of LEGO bricks.
According to Bauch, his obsession with LEGO pieces didn’t start when he was a child, but rather later on in life. In 2010 Bauch created his first LEGO mosaic, a reproduction of a Roy Lichtenstein painting which came about in order to impress a girl. I’m not sure if Bauch’s attempt to find love by way of LEGO was successful, but his reproductions of two of Lichtenstein’s paintings, “Girl with Hair Ribbon,” and “The Kiss V” are spot-on. It takes Bauch many thousands of LEGO bricks (with hundreds of dollars spent on the LEGO pieces themselves), and anywhere from ten to 60 hours to make one of his bricky works of art. When it comes to his creative process, Bauch is tight-lipped, preferring to credit a team of “pygmy hippos” as the driving force behind his painstaking pieces. Bauch’s LEGO portraits are also available for purchase (from $1,800 - $3,600 each) via his Etsy shop.
LEGO mosaic of “The Kiss V”. Made with 3,491 LEGO bricks (originally painted by Roy Lichtenstein in 1964)
More of Bauch’s LEGO mosaics, as well as a time-lapse video of Bauch putting together “Girl with Hair Ribbon,” can be seen after the jump.
Recently, the “newsish” website Gawker ran a nasty little expose on the CFO of a major media company, who had allegedly attempted to purchase sex from a porn star. Many readers were livid, citing an invasion of privacy, or even perhaps a whiff of homophobia in the story (the CFO and the porn star were both men). Gawker argued that their mission has always been to dig up dirt on the rich and powerful, and though there was some debate on whether or not the subject of their story was rich and powerful enough to constitute such focus, they argued the story constituted public interest before eventually retracting it with apology.
The Condé Nast executive is seen as a legitimate subject for attack because of his wealth and class privilege. What the adherents to Gawkerism rarely consider is whether tabloid gossip is really the best tool for fighting a class war.
Unfortunately, Heer completely overlooks the fact that historically, gossip, libel and denigration have been an integral aspect of class war, and the tabloids have usually been the medium of dissemination. Just ask Maria Antoinette, for whom the libelle—a smutty little tabloid in the form of a political pamphlet—proved an incredibly effective piece of political propaganda. These were not sophisticated political tracts—they often simply depicted Antoinette in pornographic situations—orgies, incest, lesbianism—everything you could imagine. Sometimes the purpose of these cartoons was to actually accuse Antoinette of such acts, but often they were simply a form of degradation.
The cartoon above features Antoinette with the Marquis de Lafayette, a politician and general who fought alongside against England during the American Revolution. Considered a military hero, he was appointed to the National Assembly by the King, and though he remained a royalist, he sympathized with Revolutionary values and attempted to institute them politically. As a result, he was distrusted by both the revolutionaries and the monarchy. There is no evidence that he had an affair with Antoinette; the cartoon is actually intended to illustrate Lafayette’s allegiance to the crown. His “steed” is a pun, as the French word for “Austrian” is very similar to “ostrich,” and Antoinette was often referred to as “Austrichienne,” or “Austrian Bitch.”.
You may find the tabloids gauche, you may find their targets undeserving, you may even argue that we live in a more civilized time—a time when tabloids should be retired in favor of more dignified debate and politics; but if you’re wondering whether or not tabloids are effective in class war, I’d remind you that the road to the guillotine has always been paved with smut.
Marie was often depicted in lesbian trysts, generally assumed to be Yolande de Poligna or Princesse de Lamballe. The text reads, “I now breathe only for you, a kiss my beautiful angel.”
In a subtler comic, Marie stepping from Versailles to safety, bearing the King and Prince on her back, giving the French people a view up her dress in the process.
Since the 1980s, the Pogues have been fusing the tropes and melodies of traditional Irish folk music to the energy of punk rock while posing a serious threat to the continued functioning of their own and their fans’ livers, in the process releasing unspeakably awesome albums like Rum Sodomy & The Lash and If I Should Fall From Grace With God during their mid-to-late ‘80s high water mark. In a news release that should come as no surprise at all, it was announced that the band has aligned with West Cork Distillers to produce their own brand of Irish whiskey. Via The Spirits Business:
The Pogues Irish Whiskey is targeted towards 25 to 35-year-old drinkers and is said to be Ireland’s highest malt-containing blended Irish whiskey, with 50% grain and 50% single malt liquid.
The whiskey, described as having a “malty and floral” flavour with notes of mild chocolate and citrus, was developed by distillers Barry Walsh and Frank McHardy.
“We wanted to create an Irish whiskey with global appeal, which isn’t without its challenges,” said John O’Connell, co-founder of West Cork Distillers.
It may not take long to find it outside of Ireland, as the band and distillery plan to establish Pogues Irish Whiskey as an international brand. It’ll sell in the UK for £30 a bottle, which is about $45 USD, though import fees might jack that figure up a bit.
After the jump, some live footage of the Pogues from 1984…
“They don’t write ‘em like they did in the old days”—certainly a true statement, but in some cases that may really be for the best.
Here’s a top-ten countdown of songs with sketchy lyrics or themes related to (Hebephiliac to Ephebophiliac) relations with minors that probably wouldn’t make the cut for acceptability in 2015. Through the backward lens of modern social and moral definitions of appropriateness, these ten tracks err on the side of “not.”
Some of these songs are merely cringeworthy in hindsight. Some are downright scary. Yet each of these songs was either a hit single or a fan favorite on a hit album. In today’s social climate it would be career suicide for a mainstream artist attempting to release a song with lyrics like the ones on this list.
10. Aerosmith “Walk This Way”
This song of young lust does specify that the narrator is a “high school loser,” but “Walk This Way” makes the ten spot for what is certainly one of the sleaziest lines ever uttered in a (really popular hit) rock song: “I met a cheerleader, was a real young bleeder, oh the times I could reminisce.” Gross, dude. What was she? Twelve?
There’s a metalhead in the jury box of the Aurora mass shooting trial and the news is on it!
Colorado’s News 9 reports that an alternate juror in the mass murder trial against James Holmes wore a Metallica Ride The Lightning t-shirt which may have been in violation of a court order banning display of clothing which may influence the jury.
Neither the judge nor lawyers appeared to notice the shirt worn by juror 983, which features bolts of lightning hitting an empty electric chair on the front and the skeletal remains of a prisoner being electrocuted on the back side.
Judge Carlos Samour has “strictly prohibited” from his courtroom the “display of insignias, symbols, pictures, clothing, or any other items that may influence the jury” in an order that appears on a laminated placard in front of every spectator seat in court.
Since the matter was never brought up on the record Thursday, we don’t know whether the judge would have found the attire in violation of his order.
On Thursday, the 12 deliberating jurors delivered a verdict on aggravating factors, the first of three possible phases in the death penalty sentencing hearing.
Juror 983, who has sported heavy-metal themed tees in court before, is not on the panel of 12, but could be called on to deliberate if a juror should be excused for any reason.
The Metallica track “Ride The Lightning” is written from the point of view of a prisoner awaiting death by electrocution. According to James Hetfield, the song “was not a criticism of capital punishment, which I’m actually a supporter of. Rather, it’s simply about a man who faces death in the electric chair for a crime he didn’t commit.”
We’re guessing Juror 983 didn’t put that much thought into it.
In March DM reported on activists in Germany who, seeking to discourage drunken revelers from urinating in public, had applied special liquid-repelling paint to certain walls which would have the effect of redirecting the stream back towards, say, the malefactor’s own pant legs.
Today the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the city of San Francisco is using the identical technique. Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru commented, “We are piloting it to see if we can discourage people from peeing at many of our hot spots. ... Nobody wants to smell urine. We are trying different things to try to make San Francisco smell nice and look beautiful.”
[Nuru] demonstrated a painted wall’s effectiveness at the 16th Street Bart Plaza Thursday. A sign reading, “Hold it! This wall is not a public restroom. Please respect San Francisco and seek relief in an appropriate place,” hung above it. It doesn’t explicitly state that the wall will fire back, so some surprises are in store.
“Watch your shoes over there, brother,” Nuru said, spraying water from a plastic bottle against the pee-proof wall. The liquid splashed right back, soaking the bottom of his pants. “The team that did the testing, they were excited because the liquid bounces back more than we thought it would. Anything we can do to deter people is a good thing.”
The experiment in Hamburg’s St. Pauli neighborhood captured the attention of San Francisco officials. “Based on Hamburg, we know this pilot program is going to work,” Nuru said. “It will reduce the number of people using the walls. I really think it will deter them.”
The paint was applied in “nine urine-repellent walls in the Tenderloin, the Mission and South of Market,” with more to come. We can’t tell you where in San Francisco you are safe from the splattery technique, so we advise taking your binge drinking habits to Oakland for the time being.
Here’s a video from San Francisco Public Works demonstrating the paint:
Santorum Walks Away From Porn-Busting Promise: The last time he ran for president, former Sen. Rick Santorum aroused Internet users by promising to take away their access to pornography. ‘I don’t even remember that position, to be very honest,’ he now says. Well, I’m sure he really meant it at the time. (US News and World Report)
Boy George: ‘This Is the World I Was Fighting for in 1984’: I saw that this article was linked off Drudge Report, which would probably explain why they closed the comments down! (Yahoo! Music)
Trump Would Lose Badly In A Third-Party Bid, But He Could Take The Republican Down, Too: What’s not to love about this? This is perhaps the greatest thing in politics to happen in our lifetime! (FiveThirtyEight)
Welfare recipient drug testing brings shocking results: In November 2009, GOP Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona announced that the state would test adults if they felt like there was a “reasonable cause” to believe they were getting high. But while the laws were designed to help save money by keeping people who might use their benefits on illegal drugs instead of bare necessities, they largely proved to be a complete waste of the state’s money. The implementation of the process cost the Arizona taxpayers millions of dollars. Over 87,000 welfare recipients were been tested: One test came up as positive which ended up saving the state only $560, according to USA Today. (AOL)
America’s Top Killing Machine: Gun deaths are poised to surpass automobile deaths in the United States this year. (The Atlantic)
Reason #1 to Vote Bernie: Sanders Does ‘Better Than Clinton’ Against GOP in Swing States: According to a July 22, 2015 Quinippiac University Poll, Hillary Clinton’s once overwhelming lead in public opinion has been cut substantially, and it’s still a long way to the February 1, 2016 Iowa Caucus. In states that will decide the 2016 presidential election, Quinippiac reports that “Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, runs as well as, or better than Clinton against Rubio, Bush and Walker.” Clinton’s lead has eroded in swing states, while Sanders’s surge has spread from Iowa and New Hampshire to other key regions. (Huffington Post)
Life sentence for woman whose hired hit man shot the wrong guy: A South Carolina woman whose teenage lover shot and killed the woman’s brother-in-law instead of her husband who was the intended target, will serve life in prison, and the teenager is expected to plead guilty, the prosecutor in the case said on Friday. (Raw Story)
The Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well Shows Made a Whole Bunch of Money: The surviving members of the Grateful Dead should be able to buy themselves plenty of boxes of rain following their 50th anniversary shows. According to Billboard‘s data, the five concerts raked in an incredible $52.2 million haul while drawing 361,933 people in total. (Ultimate Classic Rock)
Hear Led Zeppelin’s Upbeat ‘When the Levee Breaks’ Rough Mix: “If It Keeps On Raining” will appear on upcoming deluxe reissues of ‘Coda.’ (RollingStone)
Dennis Rodman endorses Donald Trump for president: The five-time NBA champion tweeted that the Donald “has been a great friend for many years” and added “We don’t need another politician, we need a businessman like Mr. Trump! Trump 2016” Rodman announced his support of Trump only an hour after defending World Wrestling Entertainment legend Hulk Hogan in separate tweets. Special! (Politico)
Virtual reality is the new hope of the porn industry with headsets like Oculus Rift set to go mainstream: Let’s face it, we are a red-blooded, sex-obsessed species. Behind every new technology, pornography has been hot on its heels, and the brave new world of virtual reality is right now climbing its way to a hyper-real climax. (News.com.au)
Poll: Republican Party approval ratings lowest in decades: Only 32% of respondents said they had a favorable opinion on the Republican Party in a new Pew Research Center poll published Thursday — the lowest number Pew has reported at any point since 1992. The party is viewed unfavorably by 60% of respondents, again the party’s worst score. Oddly, the biggest drop in GOP favorability is among actual Republicans, not Democrats or independents. (USA Today)
I was Ronald McDonald: More men have walked on the moon than been Ronald McDonald. Joe Maggard was McDonald’s mascot from 1995 to 2007. He was eighth of nine men to have done the job. But what happens after you step out of the big red shoes? Maggard says you never truly retire from being the fast-food chain’s Chief Happiness Officer. At a carnival in Las Vegas as he dons the costume again, and offers advice on healthy eating and the importance of being Ronald (Guardian Docs)
The world owes Flickr user Kelly Michals a debt of gratitude for saving these marvelous “participation certificates” from oblivion. Michals has put together an extensive Flickr album to house more than 100 of these amazing and weird documents of the Cold War. You might think of nuclear testing as an activity associated with, say, 1954, but these documents cover a startlingly wide time span, from 1951 into the early 1970s, at least that I found.
In a way, these items are a bit like fallout shelters, an optimistic and probably futile gesture in the face of the most hopeless situation you could imagine, nuclear bombs created to wipe out entire continents. The nuclear tests had amusing names like Operation Milkshake and the documents have something of the naive artistic value of the CB radio calling cards we highlighted a couple weeks back.
There are a lot more of these at Michals’ Flickr album, so do go there and have a look. All of the images on this page, you can see a larger image by clicking on it,
I once heard someone refer to Wes Anderson’s films as “expensive dollhouses,” which, while bitingly pointed, I find a little harsh. For one thing, I think Rushmore is a masterpiece, and even if his later films don’t possess whatever intangible quality I loved most about Rushmore, they’re obviously not throwaways. For another, while the uncannily warm, color-corrected tableaux of Anderson’s later work can be a bit twee, they’re undeniably beautiful and intense—and who doesn’t love a good dollhouse? Nonetheless, there is an aesthetic cult around Anderson’s work that goes way past appreciation and borders on corny. You know the crowd; ukuleles, cardigans, deep in pouty ennui, only know the really pretty Velvet Underground songs (and can play them on the ukulele). They’re not hard to pick out of a crowd, and now they’re featuring their Wes Anderson-themed art in serious gallery shows.
The Anderson-inspired art show, titled “Bad Dads”—I presume in reference to his constant theme of disappointing paternal figures—started in San Francisco in 2010, and was originally advertised as an art show/costume party (imagine a million girls dressed as Margot Tenenbaum trying to look sullen, yet beautiful, ugh). The show proved so popular that it’s now going on its sixth run, this time at the Joseph Gross Gallery in NYC. Below you can see art from the upcoming feature, as well as work from previous events, some of which has already sold for a pretty penny.
I’m torn, because not only is it an interesting experiment to take what is essentially fan art out of the DeviantArt ghetto and put it into the “respectable” art world (and don’t kid yourself, it is fan art), but also, some of this stuff looks quite good! (I’m particularly fond of the Kanye West crossover, since a contemporary sense of humor is a nice contrast to Anderson’s out-of-time pastels.) On the other hand, Wes Anderson? Really? Aren’t their directors who could inspire more exciting and varied shows? What about Kubrick? Truffaut? Kurosawa? How about anyone who doesn’t have a favorite Parisian taxidermy shop?