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Jayne Mansfield becomes the hottest hot water bottle ever, 1957
07.11.2018
09:55 am
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A surreal shot of Jayne Mansfield floating in her pool surrounded by her novelty hot water bottles designed by Don Poynter.
 

“I stayed in California sculpting her for the mold for a week. I could have done it in two days but thought — why rush it?”

—the creator of whiskey-flavored toothpaste and other weird delights, inventor and designer Don Poynter musing about his collaboration with Jayne Mansfield

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Don Poynter showed an aptitude not just for creating things, but also possessing a good head for business as a young child. When he was eleven, Poynter began making and selling remote-controlled tanks with working cannons. While a student at the University of Cincinnati, Poynter formed Poynter Creations (later changing the name to Poynter International) and the company would begin its weird journey making bizarro novelties of all kinds for decades, the first being the wildly successful partnership of booze and good oral hygiene, Whiskey-Flavored toothpaste in 1954. In the early 60s he created the boozehound icon “melting wax” that appears to drip from the top of Maker’s Mark whiskey bottles. In 1967 he put out “Uncle Fester’s Mystery Light Bulb” (an homage to actor Jackie Coogan’s portrayal of lightbulb-loving Fester Addams in The Addams Family television show) and sold a staggering fourteen million of them. He was a champion baton twirler at UC, and this particular talent got him a gig touring with the Harlem Globetrotters. As cool as Poynter’s many life achievements are, there are few things cooler than the nearly two-foot-tall hot water bottle he sculpted in the image of blonde temptress—and good pal of Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey—Jayne Mansfield.

Poynter had a knack for taking the public’s temperature as it pertained to embracing novelty items. In other words, Poynter knew you wanted a talking toilet seat before you did. When the idea came to him to make a hot water bottle in the image of Jayne Mansfield in a black bikini, he was fully confident such a product would sell like crazy. He spent weeks sculpting the water bottle while negotiating with Mansfield’s Hollywood honchos, who weren’t at all keen on the idea of their star becoming one of Poynter’s novelties. It seems Jayne was fond of the idea from the start and she asked Poynter to come to Hollywood so they could work on their joint venture.

In 1957 Poynter flew to Hollywood where he would remain for a week sculpting the actual Jayne in his studio on a daily basis. Poynter had to throw away his original sculpture of Jayne and start from scratch after realizing the 5’5 actress was not as tall as he had imagined. He also had the pleasure of shopping for a cheeky nightie for Mansfield to wear in a pin-up-style promotional ad for the bottle. Jayne didn’t own any herself as she slept in the nude.

Poynter paid Mansfield five grand for her time, and before the actress’ untimely death in 1967 his company sold 400,000 water bottles for ten bucks a pop. As of this writing, as far as I can ascertain, Poynter is still hanging out in Cincinnati “acting much younger” than his age of 94. Photos of Jayne and Poynter posing with her water bottle, and the gloriously bodacious bottle itself follow.
 

Another shot of Mansfield in her pool with her water bottles.
 

The illustrated ad for the Jayne Mansfield Hot Water Bottle. One should presume Mansfield is wearing the nightie purchased by Poyner for the promotional ad.
 

A very pleased looking Poynter pictured with Mansfield and her hot water bottle.
 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.11.2018
09:55 am
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Hilarious photoshopped images of Trump & his ‘best people’
07.10.2018
01:13 pm
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A portrait of our current president by Chest Strongwell.
 
I present to you a few of the best photoshop jobs I have seen in quite a while which also just so happen to poke fun at members of our current administration and other fascistic enablers and foul miscreants. Not all photoshopped images are created equal—and these images set the bar a bit higher if you ask me.

I don’t know much about Chest Strongwell outside of the fact that Strongwell is probably not really his real name (duh), he is a professional, left-leaning Internet troll, and a stay-at-home Dad claiming to have one thousand balls. I also know Chest has some sharp photoshop skills, and Republicans hate him, which I’m sure is just fine by Chest. At any rate, ole’ Chest has recently upped his online taunting directed at right-wing politicians with a few beautifully executed photoshopped images of 45’s “grab ‘em by the pussy” posse in the style of old-school KMart and JC Penny Portrait Studio photos from the 70s and 80s. Repulsive individuals such as Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Vice President Mike Pence have never looked BETTER if you ask me.

So since I know we could all use a good laugh, please enjoy some of the best shopped-up images of some of the worst people in the world. God bless America, and god bless Chest Strongwell. Whoever you are.
 

Former mayor of New York City now acting as an attorney for Trump, Rudy Giuliani.
 

Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell.
 

White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
 

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.10.2018
01:13 pm
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Harlan Ellison’s stoner rock song
07.10.2018
09:20 am
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(via Pinterest)
 
Harlan Ellison was not a head. In his review of 2001: A Space Odyssey, set in Canter’s Deli at three in the morning, Ellison tells how Rob Reiner and Sal Mineo’s raptures over the movie nearly ruined his matzo ball soup. He subjected their enthusiasm to the full 10,000-watt glare of his withering scorn, disabusing the showfolk of their fond beliefs that 2001 told a story, or had a meaning—pure bullshit, he heard straight from “one of the men listed in the credits as having devised the bloody story” (Clarke?)—and returned to slurping his chicken broth.

And while he was impressed by Three Dog Night during the week he spent on the road with the band in 1970 (“the writer[...] cannot be bought but certainly can be rented”), Ellison preferred Bach and jazz to teenage rock and roll. If he cherished any hopes for youth culture, they were categorically different from the Beatles’; see his 1973 essay, “Why I Fantasize about Using an AK-47 on Teenagers.

Now, if I had ever seen Harlan Ellison stalking the sidewalks of Los Angeles, I would have crossed the street, because I value my life. (If you think his belligerence was just an act, tell it to the ABC executive with the broken pelvis.) But somehow, despite the author’s well-documented hostility to people, places and things, the Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, an instrumental psych-rock group featuring ex-Monster Magnet guitarist Ed Mundell, coaxed these vocals out of Ellison for their self-titled 2013 album.

Here’s Harlan Ellison’s lone essay in heavy rock, “Unassigned Agent X-27.” I love the way he pronounces the “g” in “gnat,” and the way he never curbstomped me while he was alive.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.10.2018
09:20 am
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The Despair of Monkeys and Other Trifles: An interview with Françoise Hardy
07.09.2018
09:29 am
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I recently read the Feral House publication, The Despair of Monkeys and Other Trifles: A Memoir by the great French singer/songwriter Françoise Hardy and got the absolute pleasure of discovering how rich and dynamic her life has been. Rarely have I read a book where a woman musician has talked about the way she has managed her career (or how she has been managed) and made herself vulnerable in this way. She is honest about her own desires, strengths and interests and—most wonderfully—she talks at length about the actual music making process and her genuine opinions and needs in recording sessions and throughout her tenure as a musical artist. These strong discussions are a breath of fresh air in a world where women in the musical world are rarely heard from. What a book!

Hardy’s story itself is fascinating from beginning to end. Filled with heartbreak, joy, adventure and intimately fascinating details about family, love, spirituality and world change. Guest appearances from people like Johnny Hallyday, Serge Gainsbourg, Malcolm McLaren and (of course) husband Jacques Dutronc amongst many others. This book is a solid read about an amazing artist and figure that has produced incredible work.

I was lucky enough to be able to interview her by email about her memoir. Thanks so much to Françoise Hardy and Feral House for this.

Your passion for music and love for your work is clear in this book. You also have a keen respect for the musical engineers who recorded and produced your work. Do you think most of today’s musicians no longer possess that kind of dedication?

Musicians, from yesterday or today, of course, know the vital importance of a good sound engineer, even if young composers and producers have more skills in a recording session. Today I am worried by excessive production. There are so many new singers everywhere, every day. It’s the same thing with books and movies. Too much production kills the artistic elements. As you know, media looks for efficiency rather than for quality. They are only interested in the short term and don’t care enough for timeless melodies.

You mention working with modern figures like Iggy Pop and Damon Albarn and those these were quite positive experiences versus the commercialistic result of the McLaren project. Can you expand on why you connected with these two?

I like and admire Iggy Pop and Damon Albarn very much, and I think that Malcolm McLaren’s album Paris is really great. But, these three collaborations were not significant to our respective careers. For instance, tremendous musicians like Michel Berger and Gabriel Yared have been far, far more important to my work and me as we shared many more connections between their musical world and mine.

In your memoir, you discuss your studies on psychology in the 1980s. One of the only courses that you say was “worth the trouble” was the one you took on the Tarot with Alejandro Jodorowsky. Can you talk about why that was such an important course, what learning from him was like and how it assisted you at that point in your life?

Alejandro Jodorowsky has a fascinating and robust personality. His vision of the Tarot de Marseille is very personal, very original and exciting. But Tarot de Marseille is complex like astrology, like graphology, like every science, human or exact. To be able to understand its symbolism and to use it, for improving the understanding of who you are, who somebody else is, and how to help in this way, requires a whole life of meaningful investigation. I was lucky enough to meet in 1974 a French astrologer, Jean-Pierre Nicola, a genius who has re-invented astrology – thanks to his intelligent and scientific connections between astrological symbolism and the rhythms and cycles of the solar system which are partly conditioning us, whether we like it or not. But the information that can be given by astrology about our many conditionings is limited. So I went to Jodorowsky’s three-day course because I was curious.

I have also studied graphology for a long time and have attended numerous classes taught by clever professional graphologists over the course of many years, but at some point, I had to give up because it would have required me to dedicate the rest of my life to it to become an expert. But my studies began with astrology, so I continued with it.

Your connection to spiritualism, astrology and non-Western practices is very strong and you express these things beautifully in your memoir. Do you think this has had an effect on your music? 

I don’t think so. For me, music is the expression of deep emotions, deep feelings, a sublimation of human pains. Human science is like any science, it appeals to discernment, thinking, understanding, intelligence… It is mental, not sentimental.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Ariel Schudson
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07.09.2018
09:29 am
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A Teatime Dub Encounter with Iggy Pop & Underworld by Irvine Welsh
07.09.2018
07:40 am
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Photo credit: Rob Baker Ashton

A Teatime Dub Encounter with Iggy Pop & Underworld by Irvine Welsh

You know the drill. I’ve idolised Iggy Pop since the seventies, loved Underworld through the burgeoning dance music scene in the late 80’s. In the 90’s I did a novel, Trainspotting, about being fucked up, practically ghostwritten by Iggy and underscored by the beats of dance music. It was made into a movie. The two iconic tracks of the film, “Born Slippy (Nuxx)” and “Lust For Life” were by Iggy and Underworld. So now, in stormy Miami, they are collaborating on a four track EP and I’m pretty damn thrilled to take a smidgen of indirect credit for that.

Like Iggy, I’m now a resident of Miami, and something of a buddy of his, though to me that still feels a bit like a royal family biographer pretending to be bezzy mates with the Queen. To be fair to him, Iggy never makes me feel like the semi-awkward fanboy I am, but there’s a lot of angsty teen baggage on my part to get through, when Raw Power, Kill City, Funhouse and The Stooges were the soundtrack to youth well-spent misspending. Iggy was the liberator, ossifying a petulant punk sensibility, which has never completely left me: both a personal boon and occasional curse.

Karl Hyde is, like Iggy, an old trailer park resident, in his case in the West Midlands, rather than Michigan. I remember Karl from the 90’s, his flat in Soho was a legendary retreat for casualties stuck in the West End. I haven’t met Rick, before and doing so, is a pleasure. So we chatted all weekend, at a restaurant, a plush hotel over cream tea, and Iggy’s swamp man pad on the river. Here’s a massively summarised version of what we said:

IRVINE
Did you ever smoke on an airplane, Jim?

IGGY
I used to enjoy it when I first just got a little tiny bit of money, just enough to have $50 in my pocket. I had a girlfriend in Cleveland, which was like, what a 48 minute flight from Detroit, and it was 25 bucks, and I was like, “I have enough money to fly to Cleveland, and hit on the girl, and go home!”

IRVINE
And you could light up anytime?

IGGY
Well I was smoking cigarettes constantly at this time, but then in the incident described in the song “Bells & Circles,” I was out with the last gasp, truly derelict desperate Stooges, in ‘74. We were on our way to DC and I did snort a gram.

IRVINE
A gram of cocaine?

IGGY
Yeah I put down the tray table, and snorted the whole gram, and this beautiful tall, very dark stewardess was available, but then I started drinking: I had to take the edge off.

IRVINE
What you do after a gram, yeah…

IGGY
When I got to the hotel I realised I’d forgotten her number, which was terrible, and because I didn’t hook up with her, I got together with a notorious groupie who had a friend who had some angel dust, so I took it before the gig.

IRVINE
They didn’t mind about coke on planes in those days?

IGGY
Well, I didn’t mind!

Iggy and I then swap cocaine stories, before agreeing that it’s terrible drug but you need to test it thoroughly and repeatedly to be absolutely sure.

IRVINE
So what about this 4-track EP, how did it come about? How did you guys get together?

RICK
Danny Boyle, asked me to help with T2 Trainspotting, and we got quite excited how to look at music differently from the first film, because then there was no composer involved. We thought, ‘What if we had an original piece of music from Iggy, that would play in this particular scene’, so my manager chased a connection with Iggy. The timing kind of worked out, and you were in London, about to do some shows?

IGGY
I was on tour doing the Post Pop Depression tour with Josh Homme.
         
RICK
You were at The Savoy and graciously said yeah, because you know, we both felt a strong connection to Trainspotting and I turned up thinking I’ve got one chance here to convince this gentleman that we should work together on a piece of music. So I brought basically half my studio and we hired a hotel room and I set it up and sat waiting.

IGGY
Well yeah the thing was traumatic for me really, the whole thing, the way it came at me was I was on this tour with guys 25 years younger than me doing the rock tour schedule and I get ‘Danny Boyle wants to talk to you about doing something for a movie’. I thought ‘well that sounds great but I’m in the middle of a tour. My performance is a big deal to me, but they had this song “Shotgun Mouthwash” (a track by Underworld collaborator High Contrast that ended up as the opening music in T2 Trainspotting). So I listened to it and I thought ‘well that’s fine, what do they need me for?’ And Danny said ‘well we like that but we wondered if we could get some Iggy Pop into “Shotgun Mouthwash,” and I thought ‘no you can’t fucking get Iggy Pop into the fucking “Shotgun Mouthwash” but I didn’t say that, I said ‘well I could just see what I can do.’

Time for some editorialising from me: the venue for collaboration for this fusion of punk and techno was The Savoy. That’s right, none other that the posh hotel on the Strand where Churchill held cabinet meetings. It does have a rock n roll connection though, Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” video was shot in the adjoining alley for that ‘street’ feel. But, uh, how come chaps?

IGGY
I was at the Savoy just getting ready to play London and met with Rick, whom I liked as he was very polite and that goes a long way with me. We were able to get to know each other a little. He had a number of tracks ready. And then my mind was racing because when you are confronted with somebody who has a whole damn studio there in the hotel room in front of you and 30 finished pieces of very polished music, you don’t want to be the wimp that goes ‘uh uhhh’...

IRVINE
That view of friendship that you have on that track, “I’ll See Big,” is fairly consistent in everything you’ve done and written throughout the years. If you think about it, “I’m Bored” on New Values, “I’m free to bore my robot friends…” So has that been a kind of theme or an issue: that you’re keeping old friendships, but also sort of you being conscious of being successful and that possible tension?

IGGY
I wrestle with the whole concept, about half the time I feel like a chump. And then the other half of the time it’s like ‘well what else am I gonna do, like just be empty all the time’. You know you go back and forth, because there is an extreme to which some people can operate through dominance, acquisition, manipulation. I was able to talk about these things because this was still in my mind, somehow connected to the hapless heroes of Trainspotting. You know like when the war is over the old buddies break up.

Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.09.2018
07:40 am
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Avalanche Bob is the yodeling outsider musician promoting the ‘snowboard revolution’
07.09.2018
01:52 am
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If you’re a frequent listener of The Best Show, then you may already know Avalanche Bob. He’s one of those unknown “regulars” who relentlessly calls into independent (and otherwise) radio stations in search of that precious airtime. There may be someone like that on your town or city’s college station or morning show. While the nature of the discussion might be for casual banter and a couple of “look at this guy” laughs, lest not we forget that these are some of the world’s best self-promoters on the line. Most of which have something menial for sale, like their music or other obscure offerings. And they will just keep on hustling to get by with life. 
 
Avalanche Bob was born Robert Cribbie in Hudson, New York. At an early age, young Bob picked up the unfamiliar form of singing known as yodeling. Bob describes his dedication as having stemmed from a dream he had, in which he heard a sound that he could not describe. That sound soon became a yodel and it was then realized that any song could be sung through yodeling. Having recognized that his bizarre form of music could potentially materialize into something other than just a gimmick, Cribbie hoped to push “rock yodeling” into the mainstream.
 

‘Rockabilly Yodel’ by Bob Cribbie (1959)
 
Bob released his first single in 1959, appropriately titled “Rockabilly Yodel.” I’m not entirely sure how the song was received back then, but it was his last for nearly sixty-years. Despite the huge, unexplained gap in his musical narrative, Bob has never stopped yodeling. He has recorded “thousands” of original songs to tape, half of which were written about the extreme sport of snowboarding. Oh, and he doesn’t want to perform as Bob Cribbie any longer - now he’s Avalanche Bob.
 
When Cribbie first got into songwriting in the 50’s and 60’s, the Beach Boys and surf music were what was popular. Everyone wanted to be part of the phenomena, but only few actually lived near the ocean to participate. But it didn’t matter so much because it was more of a rhythm and a feeling. That sensation is what Avalanche Bob is going for with his recent discovery of a so-called “snowboard revolution.” According to the revolution, snowboarding is the solution. To what, you may ask? Bob didn’t exactly specify. But, someday snowboarding could be “as big as the WWE,” Cribbie often cites. Maybe someday. The high-velocity brand was originally to be centered around skiing, but I can see why Bob went with snowboarding.
 

 
So with a little backstory, it now partially makes sense why Avalanche Bob has dedicated at least some of his life to yodeling and the snowboard revolution. Last year, Cribbie teamed up with New York musicians Owen Kline and Sam Kogon to self-release Avalanche Bob’s debut record, High Power Snow Power! To The Stars! Protect The Earth! With hits like “Drivers of the New Rock (Snowboarding Nation),” “The Hoodoo Man,” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll to the Winter Olympics,” Bob transforms doo-wops into “snow-wops” with his truly imaginative and oftentimes unhinged style of songwriting. It’s all about the powder and the slopes for this yodel-punk maestro.
 

Robert Cribbie self-portrait
 
Avalanche Bob has yet to actually go snowboarding. At eighty-four years old, he is hopeful that he will someday. Cribbie has already been on Kimmel, however, and was the subject of a 2017 indie short that bears his moniker. Bob’s main focus right now is to get his commercial idea to Red Bull and, let’s not forget, to release the thousands of songs he has allegedly already written. He also has four musicals ready for Broadway.
 
It’s been a bizarre and even supernatural journey for Avalanche Bob. A true-to-life outsider musician and a cosmic yodel-punk navigating the mountains of the snowboard revolution, one cannot help but to love the guy and everything that he’s pushing for. And once again, I’m not entirely sure what that is.
 
Listen to Avalanche Bob’s debut record ‘High Power Snow Power!’ after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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07.09.2018
01:52 am
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Ramshackle (and exciting) early Wire tunes that didn’t make it onto their studio records
07.05.2018
11:03 am
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Wire 1
 
Wire is a band known for evolving at a fast clip, especially in their early years. The first three Wire LPs—Pink Flag (1977), Chairs Missing (1978), and 154 (1979)—all vary stylistically. Being that the group refused to stand still, it’s no wonder that good songs got left behind—this is early Wire we’re talking about, after all. Some of this initial, subsequently discarded material was recorded during what would turn out to be momentous gigs for the group.

The Roxy club was the focal point of London’s punk scene. The live album recorded there, The Roxy London WC2 (Jan - Apr 77), is an essential document of that era, capturing a number of bands during their formative stages. Two Wire songs were included on the LP—“Lowdown” and “12XU.” Both would be subsequently re-recorded and included on Pink Flag.

Wire formed in August 1976, and initially consisted of five members. When guitarist George Gill broke his leg, the other four continued to rehearse, and quickly realized that they sounded better without him. Gill was sacked soon after. Wire performed on both dates of the Roxy’s two-day punk-themed event, which took place on April 1 & 2, 1977. These were the band’s first appearances as a four-piece.
 
Wire 2
 
Wire opened the first night of the punk fest, playing to nearly no one. But they made an impression and were moved up to slot #3 for night two. Punk historian Jon Savage, then writing for Sounds, caught the second performance. Savage later recalled that this version of Wire “were conceptually fascinating, horribly sarcastic and very funny.” Here’s an excerpt from his original review for Sounds:

(Wire) short circuit the audience totally, playing about 20 numbers, most about one minute long. The audience doesn’t know when one has finished and another is beginning. I like the band for that…good theatre. Image-wise they look convincingly bug-eyed, flash speed automations caught in a Mod time-warp. There seems to be a scheme of things, but this is buried in the poor sound and limitations in the format. There were glimpses of genuine originality.

Much more early Wire after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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07.05.2018
11:03 am
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Alan Arkin, folk singer
07.05.2018
10:59 am
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Alan Arkin’s been one of my favorite actors ever since I saw Wait Until Dark sometime in my tween years. With the help of a switchblade hidden in a statuette of the Virgin Mary, his character, who calls himself Harry Roat Jr. or Sr. depending on the circumstance (the plot is very elaborate), was one of the most deeply sinister creations of “classic cinema” I had ever seen to that point. I can’t say I cared much for Little Miss Sunshine, the 2006 movie that finally won Arkin an Oscar, but in a wide range of movies including The In-Laws, Glengarry Glen Ross, Catch-22, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, and So I Married an Axe Murderer, Arkin has consistently supplied me (and countless others) with heaping doses of cinematic pleasure.

Arkin became truly famous around the time he appeared in Norman Jewison’s 1966 satire The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, but by then he’d packed a lifetime into his 30-odd years. In addition to being a standout member of Second City, one of the nation’s first comedy improv groups (an experience he discusses at some length in his 2011 memoir An Improvised Life), but he’d also spent several years as a participant of America’s thriving folk music scene.
 

 
In the mid-1950s, Arkin, then in his early twenties, was in a vocal/folk group called the Tarriers. That group had the good fortune to learn about a certain Jamaican folk song from a folk singer named Bob Gibson. The Tarriers had a significant hit with the song, which bears the title “The Banana Boat Song” but is more commonly known as “Day-O,” even though the song rapidly became more closely associated with a young African-American singer named Harry Belafonte. As Bob Leszczak writes in Who Did It First?: Great Pop Cover Songs and Their Original Artists, “The first single version was by the Tarriers very late in 1956 on the Glory Records label. They beat out RCA’s choice to release Belafonte’s version on a 45 by a matter of weeks. The Tarriers’ version boasts different writers—Carey, Darling, and Arkin. Indeed, the same Alan Arkin who became an Oscar winner years later.”

During the same period, Arkin released some material under his own name, including a 1955 10-inch with the convoluted title Folk Songs (And 2½ That Aren’t)—Once Over Lightly and a 1958 single with the Woody Guthrie classic “900 Miles.”

As Paul Colby observes in his memoir of his years at the Bitter End, an important folk nightclub in New York City,
 

Years later when Arkin and [Theodore] Bikel starred in the movie The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, I heard that in between takes, the movie set was very often turned into the stage of the Bitter End as both actors sang folk songs to pass the time. People like Bikel, Arkin, and Leon Bibb were very good actors, and whenever they doubled as folksingers, their performances were tremendously effective because they could really act out a song.

 
Hear Arkin’s vocal stylings after the jump…......
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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07.05.2018
10:59 am
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Red Devils, Black Bats & Angry Cats: The wacky art of vintage fireworks packaging
07.03.2018
10:48 am
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The arresting artwork from a vintage package of Black Bat flashlight crackers made in Macau, China.
 
Aside from an annual 4th of July family event I am quite fond of attending (let’s drink together next year, Atlanta), I’m not huge into celebrating Independence Day. One of the reasons is as a pet owner and animal lover, I hate to see how dogs, cats, and other animals in the wild react to the sound of fireworks. Alternatively, I have zero sympathy for the parade of idiots who end up parting with their fingers or even an entire hand lighting off fireworks. Every year someone blows off bodyparts on the 4th of July—it’s a stone-cold fact. They also start fires and one set off by fireworks in September of 2017 burned 48,000 acres I have traversed through extensively in the majestic Columbia River Gorge. Sure, I’ll kick back and watch firework shows on the television because guess what? The other thing I hate is crowds—especially if the said crowd is A: drunk, and B: armed with matches and packages of firecrackers and cherry bombs. My holiday crankiness aside, as a lover of art, I can’t help but appreciate the vintage artwork used to adorn packages of fireworks. Whoever came up with the idea of using a werewolf to help sell fireworks is a damn genius as I’d buy a pack for this reason alone.

So in honor of Independence Day, let’s take a look at some old-school firecracker and firework packaging. Many are from Macau, a region of China located on the country’s south coast. During its heyday, the Taipa area of Macau was the largest producer of fireworks, employing more than one-third of Macau’s residents. In a single day, the factory was capable of turning out three million firecrackers. The Iec Long Firecracker Factory (established in 1926) still stands after closing its doors in 1984 in an effort to help to preserve the long history of firework manufacturing in Macau. In the latter part of the 80s, Macau looked once again to its history with fireworks and threw the first Macau International Fireworks Display Contest. The contest has since expanded to several days of firework displays in September and the first week of October. Anyway, enjoy the kooky photos below, get your pet some earplugs, and try not to shoot your fingers off this week!
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.03.2018
10:48 am
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In the Flesh: Beautifully grotesque paintings of the human condition
07.02.2018
12:01 pm
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09horaciotransition2.jpg
‘Transition 2.’
 
Horacio Quiroz’s paintings are inspired by his observations of himself and the people around him. These observations form a “a deep inspection of the feelings and emotions that make us act in certain way through our experiences with daily struggles.” We are never just one thing, our sense of self alters on response.

For Quiroz, life itself is distorted:

...[T]he human experience is trapped between emotions, we live reacting among love and fear whether we are aware of our feelings or not. Humanity is capable of the most terrible acts as well as the most loving ones. We live inside this yin and yang and somehow my work tries to reflect about the dark side of it; about the things that as humanity and individuals we deny to see.

Quiroz likes to use a quote form Carl Jung to illuminate the idea behind his paintings:

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.

According to Quiroz, “[W]e need to feel misanthropy to become philanthropists and vice versa – the darkness is the seed of light.”

Quiroz is a self-taught Mexican artist who came to painting after twelve years working as an art director. Working for others was fine but, gradually, Quiroz felt a need to express his own ideas, his own thoughts about existence. He says he has always been “perplexed by the human body”:

It is an amazing and beautiful machinery equipped to walk, think, pee etc… but not just that. The body for me is the container of our spiritual and temporal history. Every single cell of our body is coated with emotions, and we learn to be humans through the material nature of the body, so what I try to do with my work is to incarnate those emotions such as x-ray photographs of the feelings living within.

Quiroz’s paintings depict grotesquely distorted, often androgynous figures which are mutated by the internal turmoil of emotion and desire, stricture and conformity. He believes that we may all look different but underneath we have similar basic, animalistic, responses to life. Quiroz thinks “one of our biggest issues as the human race; learning to embrace our animal part.” He also hopes his paintings will connect with “the emotion inside” and help demystify the body and reveal the fluidity of “true human sexual nature.” See more of Quiroz’s work here or buy prints here.
 
03horaciotransition.jpg ‘Transition.’
 
02horacioHorazzissexrevenge.jpg
‘Horazzi’s Sex Revenge.’
 
05horaciogirlyboy1.jpg
‘Girly Boy 1’
 
See more of Quiroz’s surreal work, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.02.2018
12:01 pm
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