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Stones in the Park: Sit and watch as time goes by?
07.08.2013
04:28 am
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A still from Kenneth Anger’s Invocation of My Demon Brother, which has a solo Jagger soundtrack

Might the Rolling Stones be about to… finally retire?

The name of their current tour, “50 & Counting,” may suggest otherwise, but they are looking at a perhaps irresistible opportunity to go out on a relative high. After all, not only are Mick and Keith pushing seventy—with the latter really starting to seriously lose it on guitar—but they’ve just had a widely celebrated (and long awaited) appearance at Glastonbury, and only this weekend returned to Hyde Park for the first time since their famous free concert in 1969. It’s only rock-n-roll, but surely no future tour can hope for any greater poignancy, unless, I suppose, one of them drops down dead “right on the stage.” You kind of suspect that Mick, for one, might be thinking along these lines.

Anyhow, given the weekend shenanigans at Hyde Park (where tickets were this time weren’t free, but £90 because, you know, the Stones need the money), what better time to watch or re-watch Grenada’s entire 1969 Stones in the Park documentary, a suitably impressionistic portrait of one of London’s hazier days? Besides Jagger’s white dress, his butterflies and his Shelley poetry, there’s Mick Taylor’s unveiling, and plenty of UK Hell’s Angels—a scrawny, malnutritioned bunch who look the obvious inspiration for Billyboy’s gang in A Clockwork Orange. These UK Angels handled the Hyde Park security, but thankfully made a rather less lethal meal of it than their beefier US cousins, who would of course man Altamont’s notorious barricades later that same year.

As for the Stones, I can’t tell if they’re shit here or great. Bit of both, probably. I am, however, suddenly quite daunted by the thought that they won’t be around for ever.
 

Posted by Thomas McGrath
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07.08.2013
04:28 am
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Leftist Lemonade, Comrades!
07.07.2013
08:36 pm
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Leninade
 
Real Soda in Real Bottles’ founder Danny Ginsburg came up with name and idea of Leninade as a joke in 1987 when he drew the bottle’s label in Russian language class.  It became a real drink eleven years ago, “Simple Soviet Style Soda,” that is “worth standing in line for,” with high kitsch value. 

My favorite slogan is “Surprisingly Satisfying Soviet Refreshment, ” a play on the Cyrillic letters CCCP (USSR). It tastes like any other carbonated sweet pink lemonade, but is unrivaled as a conversation-piece beverage (try serving it at your next партия with some Willie Nelson Spring Water for some cool refreshing cognitive dissonance). It supposedly tastes good mixed with vodka, as is only appropriate. 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Lenin in Los Angeles
 

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright
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07.07.2013
08:36 pm
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Now YOU can own James Bond’s 1977 Lotus submarine car!
07.07.2013
07:25 pm
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James Bond
 
The Spy Who Loved Me has everything you could want in a Bond film —action, adventure, corny sexual jokes, fabulous Bond girls (my favorite, actually, Ringo Starr’s wife, Barbara Bach), and completely impractical spy technology. You just can’t get more impractical than an amphibious car!

After filming wrapped, this functioning submersible car (adapted from a Lotus frame for over $100,000) was tucked away in a storage unit on Long Island and eventually purchased for a pittance at a blind auction when the rent went overdue. Soon, it will be up for auction through a Sotheby’s affiliate, and you could be the one to own it! (I assume most of our readers are eccentric millionaires with proclivities for elaborate toys).

Below you can see this little beauty in action. While some shots were done with a miniature model, most of the footage is of the actual car, driven by a retired Navy SEAL. Even the initial “dive” is the actual car, though the vehicle was “manned” with stunt dummies for safety.
 

 
Via Messy Nessy Chic

Posted by Amber Frost
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07.07.2013
07:25 pm
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Timelord time-stretched: ‘Doctor Who’ theme slowed to 21 minute alien symphony
07.07.2013
04:09 pm
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ohwrotcodseltitee
 
The original Doctor Who title music from 1963 stretched.

Many of these slowed tracks fail to maintain interest, but Ron Grainer’s theme music, as performed by Delia Derbyshire at the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, proves its incredible richness and durability, producing a Ligeti-like symphony of dark, menacing, beauty.
 

 
H/T Tim Paxton.

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.07.2013
04:09 pm
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Jack Kirby makes a fleeting cameo appearance on ‘The Incredible Hulk’ TV series, 1979
07.07.2013
04:06 pm
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kluhcimocybrikkcaj.jpg
 
For fans of Jack Kirby, here’s a fleeting glimpse of the great artist in an uncredited cameo appearance as a police sketch artist in this episode of TV series The Incredible Hulk, “No Escape” from 1979.

Kirby was co-creator, with Stan Lee of The Hulk, the angry, green (though originally gray) alter-ego to mild-mannered scientist Doctor Bruce Banner. The Incredible Hulk comic book made its first appearance in May 1962, and The Hulk was as much inspired by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as he was by the fears of genetic mutation from radioactive fallout.
 
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Via Scheme 9

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.07.2013
04:06 pm
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Give The Drummer Some: Drummers appreciate DEVO’s man machine Alan Meyers
07.07.2013
03:43 pm
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As a failed musician myself, drummers have always fascinated me. They are the engines that drive music. They provide the beat we humans have danced to since music began – likely well before we had language itself.

There are obviously extraordinary drummers in popular music history. Just off the top of my battered head with an attempt at offering some diversity: Gene Krupa, Keith Moon, Stephen Perkins, Louie Bellson, Topper Headon, “Bigfoot” Brailey, Moe Tucker, Max Roach, Jody Stephens, Carly Barrett, Jaki Liebezeit, Pete Thomas and Hugo Burnham (see below) are those who most immediately come to mind.

Their role, their significance in their respective bands was rarely, if ever, taken for granted by their fans. There was one pioneering drummer whose special skill was always the most overlooked in his singular band, DEVO. Rather than bloviate any further on the subject myself, I’ve invited a few experts to testify as to drummer Alan Meyer’s special genius….

“1978 was a delicious time…. for a musician just getting purchase on a real future….loving the old, adoring the new - sucking it all up. Then this thing - DEVO’s first album - hit us. Two big smacks to the head… Eno produced it, but we old “Ziggy Kids” (many, many of the first wave of UK “punks” were) had heard of them because David was lauding them already; PLUS, they had the balls to do “Satisfaction.” Hello?! Before Ziggy (and Slade and Roxy and Mott, etc., etc.), it had been The Stones. First response was “WTF?” Then it crept up and into my heart and brain and synapses. The video, the pictures, the clothes, the artwork, the fucking hats…. that DRUMMING. Damn. So you could be weird and still rock it, still nail the bedrock for the rest of the band. It wasn’t about rudiments and technique (...neither or which I ever had…), but about feel and exploration and risks. Thanks, Alan Meyers. You made it easier for me to find my way, my style. I just wish I could have said it to your face… while gripping your hand as hard and with as much drummer-love as I once did Bernard Purdie’s.

What a man, what a man, what a mighty fine man Alan Meyers was. And always will be. Thank you.”

—Hugo Burnham, Gang Of Four

“The best part about the early DEVO records was their careful balance between human and machine. It was Kraftwerkian. Alan was so robotic he crossed backed over into soul. It’s robot soul music. When DEVO went to the drum machines, the Fairlight CMI’s sequencers, it robbed their rhythms of that delicate balance.

Garvy J./Josh Hager – Edited/programmed drums on Devo’s most recent LP, Something For Everybody.

“Back in ‘78 and ‘79 The Ruts used to rehearse in a squat in New Cross in south London. Segs (Bassist) and I would rehearse and jam. We were most inspired by DEVO and their wonderful pumping jerky rhythms which helped us write our own tunes. Thank you, Mr. Meyers. May you rest in peace.”

—Dave Ruffy – Currently playing w/Ruts DC & Dexy’s Midnight Drummer (Also known for work with World Party, Sinead O’Connor and The Waterboys.

“He was perfect at what he did. Period.”

—Deborah Frost, Ex-Flaming Youth drummer

“Alan was quite an influence on me, even though I could never duplicate his speed or technique, he was absolutely incredible to listen to. Made Devo that much better.”

—Dave Lovering, Pixies

“The first time I saw Alan play was on my parents’ little B&W TV in the late 70’s when DEVO performed on Saturday Night Live. I was watching with my dad as that amazing “Satisfaction” beat began. Then those boys in their yellow jumpsuits stepped into the light with their deformed instruments and played in a way I had never heard. Me and my dad weren’t sure if it was a skit or not. It blew my child mind!!!! Bands like that and drummers like Alan were pioneers showing the rest of us what is possible outside the mainstream mind frame. De-evolution indeed!!! RIP and thank you, Alan”

—Matt Tecu/Drummer for hire extraordinaire.

So many of us had that same experience as Matt. The nation’s first glimpse of DEVO was one of those watershed moments of early SNL like Elvis Costello bailing out of “Less Than Zero” to rip into the then wildly controversial “Radio Radio” or The B-52’s with the hair and Fred plunking on the toy piano that NBC/Universal won’t allow to stream online. Instead check out this early clip of “Mongoloid” and “Gut Feeling” performed in 1977. Hardcore DEVO (with Alan Meyers on some, but not all of the tracks) has just been re-released by Superior Viaduct/Boogie Boy Records.
 

Posted by Bruce McDonald
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07.07.2013
03:43 pm
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Sexy and Scandalous Scrap Metal: Ron Boise’s Legendary Kamasutra Sculptures
07.06.2013
08:59 pm
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Ron Boise Kama Sutra Sculpture 1
 
Ron Boise’s infamous Kama Sutra sculptures from the early 1960’s look almost quaint now. A series of eleven small (the tallest was a foot high) sculptures depicting sexual positions from the ancient Hindu text on sexual behavior, the Kama Sutra, were formed out of scrap sheet metal taken from wrecked cars. And that’s when the prudish shit storm began.

Boise grew up in Colorado and Montana, where he learned to weld from his father, before moving to California. In addition to being a self-taught sculptor, Boise was one of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters and even used old tools, car parts, bucksaws and old scraps of metal to create the always-locked front gate on Kesey’s La Honda, California property, on the far side of the rickety bridge that spanned La Honda Creek.

Boise himself lived and traveled in an old telephone company service van which he painted wild psychedelic colors and modified to become a mobile studio and camper.

In 1964 Boise’s Kama Sutra series was shown at the two-year-old Vorpal Gallery in San Francisco, then located in the alley behind Vesuvio Cafe and a few steps from City Lights Bookstore. (Still open, it is now located in the San Francisco Civic Center at 444 Market Street.) Art professor Richard H. Grooms described the pieces:

His sculpture was extremely sensual and the rendering of flesh and texture of the sheet metal made you forget they were scraps of metal at all. He had a sensitive line in his work that made all the metal personages seem to have a personality all their own. They became like real people, but without the idea they were portraits.

The sight of fewer than a dozen small, charming depictions of a man and a woman engaged in various heterosexual activities was enough to completely freak out the upright citizens of San Francisco. San Francisco police raided the gallery, confiscated almost all of the sculptures, and arrested gallery owner Muldoon Elder for offering “lewd objects for sale.” An obscenity trial ensued, where expert art historians Walter Horn and Catherine Caldwell and philosopher Alan Watts testified in defense of Boise’s work. Watts’ statement was reprinted in The Evergreen Review in June 1965:

Ron Boise is a sculptor who is doing something which I call ‘pushing the line back’ – in the same way as great modern writers, such as Henry Miller, D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce have been pushing the line back in literature. We haven’t seen much of it in sculpture – or in painting…

Here we see an extraordinary example of getting away with murder but in a fantastically good way. But it’s not actually getting away with murder; it’s something much worse than that; it’s getting away with love…Very rarely, unless we are familiar with Hindu sculpture or Tibetan painting can we see anything like this done with superb mastery.

Elder was found not guilty.  He wrote in 2004:

Thank God the A.C.L.U. defended me at the two-week trial since in 1964 I hardly had a penny to my name to pay for a lawyer and I doubt if the public defender would have been as eloquent as Ephriam Margolin and Marshall Krause were in that courtroom. You’ll have to ask me about the trial sometime, it was a hoot.

During and after the trial, the Kama Sutra sculptures became a rallying point for the local counterculture. Calendars and postcards were sold featuring the sculptures. Hip Pocket Bookstore in Santa Cruz, California proudly displayed one of the original sculptures over the front door. Another sculpture was installed on the roof of the Anchor Steam Beer Factory in San Francisco in full view of the freeway until Fritz Maytag took over the company in 1965 and removed it.

Boise died of the blood disease hemochrotouisis in 1966. He was on his way to Mexico to celebrate a successful show in California, where he sold nearly all of his works. He had told friends that he did not expect to live a long life and wanted to fully enjoy what years he had allotted to him. In a 1968 Martlett magazine article Richard H. Grooms wondered what had happened to Boise’s unsold sculptures after his death. Photographs of the Kama Sutra sculptures that were to accompany Grooms’ article were censored by Martlett’s printers.

Excerpt from a documentary about Boise’s work.  It contains footage of him working on a sculpture shortly before his death in 1966.

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright
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07.06.2013
08:59 pm
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Moments of Being: Listen to the only surviving recording of Virginia Woolf
07.06.2013
06:32 pm
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“Words do not live in dictionaries, they live in the mind.”

Virginia Woolf discusses words, language and writing in this the only surviving recording of her voice.

Originally broadcast for a programme entitled Words Fail Me, by BBC Radio, on April 29th, 1937. Woolf’s almost regal pronunciation can be heard reading her essay on “Craftsmanship,” which was later published in The Death of the Moth and Other Essays (1942).

The transcript of this broadcast can be found here.
 

 
H/T Art Is Now

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.06.2013
06:32 pm
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Musical universes collide: When Charlie Parker flipped Igor Stravinsky the (Fire)Bird
07.06.2013
03:22 pm
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A friend of mine once told me how, when Igor Stravinsky happened to wander, purely by accident, into a Charlie Parker set in New York with some friends, he was so shocked by what he was hearing that, in the midst of Parker’s set, he rose to his feet, clapped a hand on his brow, bellowed “OH MY GOD,” and ran out the establishment.

Only dared double-check this charming vignette today, and found that, though the historical record might not be quite as picturesque as my friend’s account (and nowhere near so happenstance), it ain’t too shabby neither—yes, scotch reportedly flew when these two musical universes happily collided at Birdland in 1951. The following excerpt is by Alfred Appel and is from Jazz Modernism (I found it here):

Charlie Parker enthusiasts circa 1950 often declared him the jazz equivalent of Stravinsky and Bartok, and asserted that he’d absorbed their music, though skeptics countered that there was no evidence he was even familiar with it. Parker himself clarified the issue for me one night in the winter of 1951, at New York’s premier modern jazz club, Birdland, at Broadway and Fifty-second Street. It was Saturday night, Parker’s quintet was the featured attraction, and he was in his prime, it seemed. I had a good table near the front, on the left side of the bandstand, below the piano. The house was almost full, even before the opening set — Billy Taylor’s piano trio — except for the conspicuous empty table to my right, which bore a RESERVED sign, unusual for Birdland. After the pianist finished his forty-five-minute set, a party of four men and a woman settled in at the table, rather clamorously, three waiters swooping in quickly to take their orders as a ripple of whispers and exclamations ran through Birdland at the sight of one of the men, Igor Stravinsky. He was a celebrity, and an icon to jazz fans because he sanctified modern jazz by composing Ebony Concerto for Woody Herman and his Orchestra (1946) — a Covarrubias “Impossible Interview” come true.

As Parker’s quintet walked onto the bandstand, trumpeter Red Rodney recognized Stravinsky, front and almost center. Rodney leaned over and told Parker, who did not look at Stravinsky. Parker immediately called the first number for his band, and, forgoing the customary greeting to the crowd, was off like a shot. At the sound of the opening notes, played in unison by trumpet and alto, a chill went up and down the back of my neck. They were playing “KoKo,” which, because of its epochal breakneck tempo — over three hundred beats per minute on the metronome — Parker never assayed before his second set, when he was sufficiently warmed up. Parker’s phrases were flying as fluently as ever on this particular daunting “Koko.” At the beginning of his second chorus he interpolated the opening of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite as though it had always been there, a perfect fit, and then sailed on with the rest of the number. Stravinsky roared with delight, pounding his glass on the table, the upward arc of the glass sending its liquor and ice cubes onto the people behind him, who threw up their hands or ducked. The hilarity of the audience didn’t distract Parker, who, playing with his eyes wide open and fixed on the middle distance, never once looked at Stravinsky. The loud applause at the conclusion of “Koko” stopped in mid-clap, so to speak, as Parker, again without a word, segued into his gentle version of “All the Things You Are.” Stravinsky was visibly moved. Did he know that Parker’s 1947 record of the song was issued under the title “Bird of Paradise?”

Sounds like quite a night! Here’s some fantastic Charlie Parker footage…
 

Posted by Thomas McGrath
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07.06.2013
03:22 pm
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Ska’s politically incorrect battle of the sexes: Prince Buster’s ‘10 Commandments’ (and the reply!)
07.06.2013
10:34 am
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75-year-old ska legend Prince Buster’s “Ten Commandments” has to be one of the most howlingly politically incorrect tunes ever recorded. It is also, somehow, sublimely charming, and the perfect accompaniment for the aggressive sunshine we are currently staggering about beneath.

In the all-too-true words of YouTube commenter “MitholX”

This song is so sexist. Wait…what the—
What’s happening to my foot? It’s…tapping AAARRGH THIS SONG IS TOO CATCHY!

Commandment Seven, for instance, declares that:

Thou shalt not shout my name in the streets
If I am walking with another woman
But wait intelligently until I come home
Then we can both have it out decently
For I am your man, a funny man
And detest a scandal in public places

Whereas Commandment Nine reveals some pretty dramatic double standards:

Thou shalt not commit adultery
For the world will not hold me guilty if I
Commit murder

Which looks horrible on paper, but which is almost guaranteed to make you smile on record. I can prove it:
 

 
How great was that?!?!? And happily, an equally delightful—no, no, an even more delightful—version, “Ten Commandments (of Woman to Man)”, was then recorded on top of the original by a certain Princess Buster in 1967. Posing (I presume) as the Prince’s new wife, the Princess offered many witty refashionings of Buster’s edicts, such as Commandment Six...

Though shalt not commit adultery
Because the world cannot hold me guilty
If, for spite, I date your best friend

Nice one, Princess!
 

 
Hearty thanks to “Princess” Rebecca M.

Posted by Thomas McGrath
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07.06.2013
10:34 am
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