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Inside the Hollywood estate auction of Sharon Tate
11.20.2018
09:06 am
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As we approach 2019, let us take a moment to brace ourselves for the oncoming onslaught of Manson Family “tributes” destined for the 50th anniversary year of the Tate-LaBianca murders. Here at its epicenter, in the city of Los Angeles, it seems like every other week that there are murmurings about the new Tarantino flick, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. And I wasn’t aware of this, but apparently there will be two additional Sharon Tate films released next year as well - The Haunting of Sharon Tate and Tate. Manson’s orders may have led to the gruesome murders of eight innocent individuals between August 8-10, 1969, but we will always remember Sharon Tate.
 
Our frame of reference today may primarily recognize her as one cult’s sacrifice to Helter Skelter. Had these random, senseless killings not occurred, however, Tate would have been known for her promising career as a beloved Hollywood actress and style icon. Emerging onto the Hollywood scene in the early Sixties, Tate was part of a new generation of actors during a renaissance of film making known as the “American New Wave.” Beautiful and naturally talented, she starred in a number of films including Eye of the Devil, Valley of the Dolls, and The Fearless Vampire Killers, the prelude of her marriage to famous director and certified-creep, Roman Polanski. It was at Polanski and Tate’s home where the murders on 10500 Cielo Dr took place.
 

 
Over the weekend, located just three miles and essentially one long street from the scene of the crime, Julien’s Auctions of Beverly Hills held an estate auction of the property of Sharon Tate. While there were plenty of theories online as to why, the sale’s coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of Tate’s untimely death seems aptly timed. The auction was arranged in accordance with Sharon’s sister, Debra, the owner of the former belongings and someone who has been vocal over the years toward victims’ rights and preserving her sister’s image. An excerpt of her intent to auction Sharon’s memorabilia is below:
 

When Julien’s first approached me with the idea of doing an auction of my sister’s considerable collection of clothes, accessories, and personal effects, I was immediately apprehensive. For 49 years I had lovingly stored and preserved these items as a way of keeping Sharon close by. While my sister is never far away in spirit, over the decades I have always been able to turn to these treasures for comfort and as a tangible reminder of the wonderful times we spent together.

Sharon was the sweetest, most gentile, most giving soul you could ever hope to meet - even more beautiful on the inside than she was on the outside. She had a special radiance, beyond the perfection of her features, that touched everyone she met. As her husband Roman Polanski said, “In those day, she was not just the love of my life, she was the love of everyone’s life.” And it’s true.

And as the years pass I have come to realize that my sister’s enormous popularity, both as an actress and as a ‘60s fashion and style icon, is continually growing. Sharon’s signature style - whether in couture, hippie chic, or her classic “Hollywood” look in Valley of the Dolls with the dramatic eye makeup and cascading blonde hair - are constantly referenced on the runway, the red carpet, and in magazine editorials worldwide. Today, my sister is loved and adored by so many fans and admirers. For this reason, and after much consideration, I now feel the time is right to share a little of Sharon with others.

As the world knows, in 1969 my sister was involved in an event that changed America in ways that still resonate. Through her fame, and the hard work of my family and I, she has become the face of a cause - Victim’s Rights - that continues to save lives to this day. That said, I always felt it was very unfair for her life to be remembered primarily for its final moments. Sharon had a magnificent life. Born into a family who loved her very much, she had a wonderful childhood. She traveled the world. She was talented. She became a film star. She met and married the man of her dreams. She experienced impending motherhood. She achieved so much in such a brief time, made a significant impact, and continues to fascinate and delight. It is important that her life be celebrated.

 
Among the items for auction were some of Sharon’s most favored dresses, including the one worn at her wedding, and those from film premieres, the Golden Globes, Cannes, photo shoots, etcetera. Also on display were clothing accessories such as jewelry, coats, bags, and sunglasses. And then there were souvenirs from her home, which were most likely present the night of her murder. Items like framed photos, makeup kits, treasured books, dishware, and other decorative items. Every single piece had a starting price from the hundreds to the five-digit thousands (the wedding dress sold for $56K). It was an ominous feeling in such an alluring setting. And while no one mentioned Manson, everyone was obviously thinking about him.
 
I was able to obtain some scans from the official Julien’s Auctions estate catalog, available below for the first time:
 

 

 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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11.20.2018
09:06 am
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Miscreants rejoice! Artist Krent Able’s new ‘appallingly filthy’ illustrated book is coming!
11.19.2018
01:54 pm
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The cover of the forthcoming book ‘The Second Coming of Krent Able’ by Steve Martin.
 

“This book will make the perfect Xmas gift for elderly relatives, beloved friends, and hated enemies.”

—London-based artist and illustrator Krent Able (the alter-ego of author Steve Martin) on his upcoming book, The Second Coming of Krent Able.

If you think Mr. Able’s statement about the follow-up to his gritty Big Book of Mischief (2012), The Second Coming of Krent Able, sounds like a warning wrapped in a delicious piece of candy, you would be correct. There is nobody quite like Krent Able, a long-time illustrator of morally questionable comics, that initially ran in the UK bi-monthly mag The Stool Pigeon (RIP, 2013). Able’s work has also disgraced the pages of the Guardian and NME, often depicting musician Nick Cave as the no-good chain-smoking “Doctor Cave.” Or meat-is-murder crusader Morrissey, looking forward to devouring a plate of bloody entrails topped with a skinned animal head—one fixated dead eyeball staring right at you because, even though it’s dead, it is as confused about this fucking situation as you are. 

Does this mean Krent Able is a malapert of the highest order, here to provide us with “appallingly filthy” comic book tales full of mayhem, dicks, and death? Assuredly the answer to this question is yes, and knowing Krent’s Second Coming is coming is great news indeed. As a graphic novel enthusiast (amusingly, my last was 2017’s Nick Cave: Mercy on Me), and proud owner of Big Book Of Mischief, I can safely say The Second Coming of Krent Able will be chock full of vitriolic comics which will disgust and delight you at the same time. If you enjoy subversive subject matter, I’m sure you will enjoy looking at some NSFW images from Able’s forthcoming book, courtesy of the artist himself. If you’d like to learn more about Able, check out the engrossing, award-winning short documentary, Ink, Cocks, & Rock ‘N’ Roll (2017) which will give you yet another reason to appreciate the artist and his ultra-salacious take on satire.

The Second Coming of Krent Able is due out in the UK and U.S. on December 13th, 2018. Signed copies of the book can be pre-ordered here.
 

The not-so-good Doctor Cave by Krent Able.
 

William Burroughs and his creepy pal.
 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.19.2018
01:54 pm
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Jäh Division return with ‘Dub Will Tear Us Apart…Again’
11.19.2018
01:37 pm
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Not to be mistaken for Dread Zeppelin, our own Ron Kretsch described Jäh Division—Brad Truax and Barry London’s Joy Division-covering improv collective—as “the gimmick band that transcendeth all.” Jäh Division’s sole recorded output, 2004’s 12-inch Dub Will Tear Us Apart earned them an underground notoriety for their tripped out, dubbed out interpretations of Joy Division’s dour post punk classics. The release was a very limited limited edition of just 600 copies pressed. Their live manifestations around Brooklyn incorporated vintage analog synth gear as well as rotating support from friends in Animal Collective, Awesome Color, and White Magic. (Additionally a guy nicknamed “Stony Tony” would simply show up and play the conga drums.)
 

 
And now they are back! With London on vintage keyboards, Truax on bass, Home’s Chris Millstein on drums, and Oneida’s Kid Millions playing London’s collection of synth percussion (including trash-salvaged electronic drum pads), the heart and soul—see what I did there?—of the dreary Manchester doomlords gets run through dubby delays, effects and even a Farfisa reverb. The expanded re-release of the 2004 EP includes Joy Division songs recorded during the original sessions.

Have a listen to the latest from Jäh Division below. Note preorder link to the Ernest Jenning Record Co. The group is playing a reunion show on January 26 at Secret Project Robot in Brooklyn. I think we can presume that Stony Tony will be there, jah mon?
 

 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.19.2018
01:37 pm
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‘The Black Door’: This dark-n-moody 1968 song is a Doors rip-off—and it’s awesome
11.16.2018
02:05 pm
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The Loose Enz
 
Bands that too closely ape another group’s style are often criticized, which is absolutely justifiable. But that doesn’t mean a band can’t produce a really cool copycat track. Take the obscure ‘60s garage rock outfit, the Loose Enz. Amongst their handful of recordings is a number that sounds a lot like the work of one of the most popular, unique rock groups of the period—and it’s a totally great song.

The Loose Enz hailed from York, Pennsylvania. Their discography consists of just two 45s, which were both released by local labels. Their second single was put out in 1968 by Virtue Records, the songs from it recorded at the label’s Philadelphia studio. Virtue had a manufacturing and distribution deal with Mercury Records, but Loose Enz’s 7-inch failed to make an impact on a national level.
 
45
 
The A-side is the moody, “The Black Door,” which very much resembles the Doors—the most obvious element being the Jim Morrison-like vocal. Even the title seems to be a reference to the band. Though the number is largely an imitation, dare I say it’s cooler and more mysterious than anything the Lizard King and crew ever came up with.

I listened to a few versions of “The Black Door” on YouTube, and the one with the best fidelity is paired with the single’s B-side. “Easy Rider” is a decent, fuzzy garage-psych tune with a wobbly drum track. It sounds a little like the Doors, but really only because you’re expecting it to, after hearing “The Black Door.”
 
Clipping
 
I first came across “The Black Door” in the ‘90s via the Arf! Arf! Records compilation, 30 Seconds Before the Calico Wall, which is still in print. Get it through the label’s website or on Amazon.

Want an original 45? There’s currently a copy for sale on Discogs. The price? $350!
 

Posted by Bart Bealmear
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11.16.2018
02:05 pm
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‘Population: 1’: The post-apocalyptic art punk film that starred Tomata du Plenty of The Screamers
11.16.2018
09:04 am
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The Screamers may have never released any music, but their punk legacy lives on through the rough bootleg tapes and high-energy video recordings that have resurfaced over the years. And lest not we forget the lingering rock appropriation of Gary Panter’s notorious “screaming man” logo. When citing them as a major influence, Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys once referred to the electro punk outfit as “the best unrecorded band in the history of rock ’n’ roll.”
 
A raucous force of dystopian, feral energy with a timely, but uncanny absence of guitars, The Screamers set into motion a new era of punk rock and showmanship in the few years that they existed as a functioning band. In its heyday, they were considered the biggest band in Los Angeles without a record contract, known to sell out multiple nights at the Whiskey a Go-Go and headline the Roxy (something previously impossible for an unsigned band).
 

 
As forward-thinking as their synths were futuristic, The Screamers, led by the eccentric frontman Tomata du Plenty, weren’t interested in putting out just a record. Nearly predating MTV, the band envisioned its full-length debut to exist strictly in video format. Not only would it allow them greater control over the aesthetic and message being conveyed, but if the TARGET videos were any indication, it would’ve been really fucking cool. Sadly, The Screamers dissolved before the rest of the world was able to catch up with them.
 
But it was video that also ‘killed’ the synthpunk stars. In 1979, The Screamers teamed up with Dutch filmmaker Rene Daalder for a series of mixed media, highly theatrical live shows. In doing so, Daalder and Du Plenty had hoped to develop their idea of a music video concept, but it didn’t necessarily pan out. What did result, however, was the 1986 sci-fi art punk musical, Population: 1.
 

 
Using footage shot over the years layered-in and chroma-key’d with additional scripted content filmed at Tomata’s Hollywood Blvd apartment, Population: 1 is one man’s rambling hour long monologue at the end of the world. Du Plenty stars as mankind’s sole survivor, who has somehow survived both a nuclear holocaust and a bizarre plague-induced suicide pact. Restricted to his personified fallout shelter reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic Pee-wee’s Playhouse, Tomata presents a distorted, beatnik memoir depicting his time on Earth and the final vestiges of civilization.
 
Part warped history lesson, part devoted tribute to his lost love Sheela (Edwards), the hypothetical narrative is sprinkled with musical numbers throughout and plenty of impressive punk rock cameos. See if you can spot appearances by members of Los Lobos, Penelope Houston of The Avengers, Vampira, Carel Struycken (the giant from Twin Peaks), El Duce, Al Hansen, his grandson Beck (the Grammy Award-winning musician), among many others.
 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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11.16.2018
09:04 am
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Captain Beefheart sings ‘Seaweed Beard Foam Bone Tree’ (and dozens more obscurities)
11.15.2018
07:51 am
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Violent white apes in a restaurant with red necks had an uprising…’ (‘Snow Apes’ by Don Van Vliet, via Doyle)

You could spend your whole life on Gary Lucas’ Soundcloud page; indeed, the way things are going, you probably should. There’s heaps of Gary Lucas music—Gary plays Fellini and Hitchcock scores; Gary plays Bob Dylan, T.Rex, Pink Floyd, the Stones, Sun Ra, Duke Ellington, and a Miles Davis/Suicide medley; Gary plays with David Johansen, Alan Vega, Nick Cave, the Andrew Oldham Orchestra, and Kevin Coyne—and there’s slabs of poetry and music by Don Van Vliet.

Even the jaded Beefheart aficionado who can play the harmonica part on “Little Scratch,” the prized outtake from The Spotlight Kid, with her toes and a vacuum cleaner may not know such gems as “The Sand Failure,” “Flat Mattress,” “The I Saw Shop,” “The World Crawled over the Razor Blade,” “Let’s Get to the Good and Go,” “Luxury Crunch,” “Skol in a Hole,” “Hearts Aren’t That Casual,” “Pork Chop Blue around the Rind,” and “Away from Survival,” among others. True, some of these tracks appeared on Rhino Handmade’s Riding Some Kind of Unusual Skull Sleigh (which is hopelessly out of print and retails for about a grand), but some, as far as I can tell, have not appeared anywhere other than in Gary Lucas’ monster sound hoard.

Much of this Beefheart stuff is spoken, but there are fragments of melodies and lyrical ideas, too, and some actual songs. As on “Pork Chop Blue around the Rind” and its second part, “Skol in a Hole,” both recorded in Lucas’ West Village apartment in 1983, Van Vliet has some kind of percussion accompaniment on “Seaweed Beard Foam Bone Tree,” but whether it’s thumbs drumming on a dinner table, tape artifacts or the endogenous thudding of a reel-to-reel I cannot say. 
 

 
And here’s Gary Lucas playing “Evening Bell” and talking about his time in the Magic Band at the Captain Beefheart Symposium in Copenhagen in 2011:
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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11.15.2018
07:51 am
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Beanpole is here, with all his kin
11.14.2018
11:34 am
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All My Kin is the first—and probably only—release by the mysterious outsider music group known as Beanpole. Not exactly a concept album, but very much a concept album, All My Kin tells warped and demented tales of animal-human hybrids, onion-loving farmers, eating, cousins and other fun stuff.

Most of the music originated from between 1984 and the early 90s and it was Les Claypool, he of Primus, who originally wanted to release a decades’ worth of Beanpole’s output on his Prawn Song imprint sometime in the mid 90s, precipitating, it is said, a break with parent record label Mammoth who just didn’t get it and pulled the plug.

For two decades poor Beanole was forgotten.

Fast forward: Les Claypool is touring with Sean Lennon as The Claypool Lennon Delirium in 2017. On the tour bus Claypool played Beanpole for Lennon, who decided that he wanted to release them on his own Chimera record label.

One of the members of the Beanpole, er, collective (?) is Adam Gates, a graphic designer long employed by the Pixar animation studio and formerly of the Spent Poets. Longtime readers of this blog will know him as “ifthenwhy” in the comments section. He sent me the Beanpole CD and a note telling me “You’ll HATE this,” but I LOVED IT. I mean no less of an authority than Rolling Stone said that Beanpole “sound like the Residents guest-appearing on Hee Haw” which is not only quite correct, but also just about the nicest thing you could ever say about any group, if you ask me.

I asked Adam Gates a few questions about Beanpole over email.

How did Beanpole come to be and who is involved?

Beanpole was started by principal songwriter, and my lifelong music cohort, Derek Greenberg (Derek would eventually play bass in my band The Spent Poets). Initially “the band” was a loosely knit recording project which began somewhere in 1984 and ended in 1995. The recordings were primitive bedroom creations (many of the album tracks were recorded on Tascam 4 Track cassette machines) that eventually graduated to, still primitive, home studios. While Derek has always remained the chief songwriter, a fairly tight circle of friends greatly informed the sound. This includes Derek, myself, Thomas Muer, Geoff Marx, Darin Wilson, Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde.

It sounds so much like Renaldo and the Loaf, that I’m gonna guess that it was rather heavily Residents inspired? What were y’all trying to accomplish?

That’s a huge compliment. Thanks.

Derek has always had a “healthy” fixation on two things, The Beatles and Disneyland, and while The Residents were certainly a major influence on all of our high school brains, we never tried to overtly sound like any of our heroes. While we were not good enough to hide our influences we also couldn’t come close to replicating them (although the bass line to “His Name Is Beanpole” is pure McCartney). Rather, we played the songs as best as we could (lots of them are not that easy), usually limiting the recordings to a few takes. The only thing that mattered was that we satisfied ourselves. Nothing was labored over, nothing was precious. The final track just had to sound like “Beanpole,” which was more of a sensibility than anything intellectual. We didn’t care. No one would ever hear it. No one would like it if they did.

I typically loathe “funny” music and while I totally understand why some people are dismissive of Beanpole as a some kind of lesser Ween pastiche, none of us ever thought that we were making music to make people laugh (Why do people find The Residents funny?). The lyrics are often sad and disconcerting: a grandma abducted -  a starving family contemplating eating one of their own - inbreeding - buried children - a bullied embryo - a farmer who loves an onion and then cheats on it.

It’s a dark, if tragic, world.
 

 
What is the backstory of the release? Was it cursed?

I played the tracks for Les Claypool and he fell in love with them, and has championed the band for years. It was his intent to release the album on his Prawn Song label, and an album (that’s very similar to the final 2018 release) was mastered in 1993. We brought in all the tracks on old cassettes, in a shoe box, to the mastering session. The music was then digitized and mastered using the shit tech of the early 90s. Thankfully Stephen Marcussen, who is a truly amazing world class mastering engineer, remastered the album for the Chimera release. We LOVE how it sounds.

Apparently “Beanpole” was the final straw for his label’s distributor and the album (and his label) were subsequently shelved.

After that, we all forgot about poor Beanpole. He was like a distant cousin. Not dead, but not really alive either.

The music became a bit of a cult item with dedicated Primus and Spent Poets fans, but every musician likes to think of his unreleased stuff as a cult item, doesn’t he? We were no Daniel Johnson, but tapes were passed around for years.

How did Sean Lennon get behind the Beanpole vision?

That’s all Les. He played it for Sean in the back of a tour bus during their “Claypool / Lennon Delirium” tour. Apparently dear old Beanpole spoke to him. I remember when Les called to tell me that Sean wanted to release it that I was utterly skeptical, as people say lots of things in the back of tour buses. And I know for a fact that Beanpole is pretty good when one is high on weed, but Sean was serious. Next thing we know his Chimera label was asking for art and masters. .

Now, as far as Derek and I were concerned, we were now members of The Beatles. Let’s just say our Beatles obsession is “biblical” and the fact that Sean (lineage aside, he’s a musician who I greatly esteem) wanted to actually release Beanpole, convinced me that something occult and out of our control was afoot. Some other weird stuff has happened that makes me believe in the Beanpole occult connection. I’m telling you that someone masturbated over a sigil somewhere. It’s the only thing that adds up!

How does it feel to have something from your “youth” come back to haunt you like this?

Weird. Again, no one was ever supposed to hear this music.

It’s funny, I created the illustrations and design for the album and I found myself actually reverting to my high school art style, something I rarely do these days. Hell, I didn’t know that I could do it. So I suppose that’s a sort of haunting? But truth be told, I don’t think any of the principals behind this this music have “evolved” much. We are still the same people, and the music still perfectly represents our loves and obsessions. Larry LaLonde’s tracks (all the albums instrumentals sans “Dinner Time” are his) still fills me with the exact same idiot glee today as they did 20 years ago. Derek was, and is, a musical genius. Over the last five years he’s recorded over 200 remarkable songs that he quietly puts online. No one hears them. No one knows. He doesn’t care.

Personally, I am very satisfied knowing that while my high school peers were listening to Rush and Huey Lewis, we were huddled around a 4-track, in a tiny suburban bedroom, recording a song called “Chicken Boy”.

Will the band be getting back together for a reunion tour or Coachella appearance?

Beanpole will be playing with The Claypool / Lennon Delirium on New Years Eve at the Fillmore in San Francisco. I’m playing my Fender Bass XI with a pick, just like McCartney on the White Album.

Coachella can’t afford us.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.14.2018
11:34 am
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The Mama & the Dadas: The pioneering feminist artwork of Hannah Höch
11.13.2018
12:24 pm
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01hochh.jpg
‘Untitled’ (1930).
 
Hannah Höch was the only female artist included in the Dada movement that flourished after the First World War. Art was then still considered mainly a man’s game—and women weren’t allowed to share the toys. Dada, however, was supposedly a radical avant garde movement that despised bourgeois conventions and the politics that had led to the carnage of the war. Though the central members of Dada’s Berlin group claimed they supported women’s rights, their words were little more than worthy platitudes as Höch was barely tolerated by some Dadaists (George Grosz and John Heartfield) who were adverse to including her work in the collective’s first exhibition in 1920. Because she was a woman, these also men expected Höch to supply the “beer and sandwiches” while they were busy discussing art and changing the world. This patriarchal sexism was all part of Höch’s long struggle to succeed as an artist.

Hannah Höch was born Anna Therese Johanne Höch into a middle-class family in Gotha, on November 1, 1889. When she first showed an early interest into art as a child, her father told her women were not meant to be artists, but were intended to be mothers and care-givers—“a girl should get married and forget about studying art.” As the eldest of five children, Höch’s role was to look after her younger siblings. When she was fifteen, she was removed from school in order to do this. Her plans for a career as an artist were put on hold until 1912 when she enrolled at the School of Applied Arts in Berlin to study glass and ceramic design. Her studies were interrupted by the First World War. Höch briefly joined the Red Cross but soon returned to Berlin where she studied graphic art at the School of the Royal Museum of Applied Arts. It was here she met the Dadaists Raoul Hausmann, with whom she had a relationship, and Kurt Schwitters, who is said to have added an “H” to her name so it became a palindrome. It was during this time that Höch began making collages. She was inspired after seeing postcards sent by German soldiers to their loved ones in which they had pasted clipped photographs of their faces over the card’s main image of cavaliers or peasants. While developing her ideas with her fellow Dadaists, Höch worked for a variety of magazines writing articles on handicraft and embroidery. This was more than just maintaining her own independence, her lover Hausmann thought Höch should work so she could support him. She described her life with Hausmann in her short story “The Painter” in which a male artist is filled with bitter resentment when his wife asks him “at least four times in four years” to wash dishes.

In 1920, Höch’s work was included in the First International Fair in Berlin. However, Grosz and Heartfield objected to her inclusion as she was a woman. It was only after Hausmann threatened to withdraw his own work if Höch was not included that Grosz and Heartfield relented. Höch disliked the loud, boisterous exhibitionism of her fellow Dadaists. She thought them childish and embarrassing. While their work was primarily intended to shock and cause outrage in response to the war, Höch was more interested in gender, sexism, identity, ethnicity, and society’s poisonous inequalities. She said she used photographs as a painter uses color or a poet words. In 1922, she split from Hausmann and began to move away from the Dada group. She started a lesbian relationship with the poet and writer Til Brugman, which lasted for ten years before she met and married the successful businessman Kurt Matthies in 1938.

With the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s, Höch was listed as a “degenerate artist” and a “cultural bolshevik” whose work was work was deemed to have no moral value. She spent the Second World War hidden in plain sight living an almost anonymous life in a small cottage with its overgrown garden where she continued to produce art. In 1944, she divorced from Matthies.

After the war, Höch’s work moved towards abstraction with an interest in nature and the environment. Though her work from this time until her death is less well-known, Höch was still highly prolific and never lost her desire “to show the world today as an ant sees it and tomorrow as the moon sees it.” Höch died in May 31, 1978, at the age of 88.

Höch’s work ranged from the political to the satirical. She considered the artist’s role as questioning accepted values and pushing for a fairer more equal society. Works life “Beautiful Girl” and “Made for a Party” questioned ideas about beauty, identity, and feminism, while “Heads of State” poked fun at male pomposity and the collages “From an Ethnographic Museum” examined ethnicity and racism.
 
04hochh.jpg
‘Cut with the Kitchen Knife Through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany’ (1919).
 
02hochh.jpg
‘The Beautiful Girl’ (1919).
 
More of Hannah Höch’s work, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.13.2018
12:24 pm
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Before ‘Grand Theft Auto’ there was ‘SCAM: The Game of International Dope Smuggling’
11.12.2018
07:37 am
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Monopoly recently released a new version of its board game called the “Cheaters Edition.” It’s exactly what you think it is. Instead of moving around the board purchasing property like society has educated us to do, players are now encouraged to LIE and CHEAT their way to commodity and wealth. Because life isn’t supposed to be fair. This realistic portrayal of the business world rewards those who can stealthily commit white-collar crimes, such as steal money, swipe properties, and basically, fuck over everyone else out there trying to make an honest living. If you get caught in the act, however, you will be forced to wear a stupid plastic handcuff that is chained to the game board. So we’ll see if it was all worth it, RIGHT DONALD TRUMP?
 

 
According to Hasbro, Monopoly: Cheater’s Edition was created after a product survey revealed that nearly half of its players cheat at the game. So, they made a version that encourages that sort of behavior. It’s no surprise then, why video games like Grand Theft Auto are so popular. We like to be bad without facing the consequences (except for maybe a plastic handcuff). I don’t have the patience for fucking Monopoly, either.
 
Let’s take a moment to pay respect to a real OG in the underground board-gaming world. This one’s called SCAM: The Game of International Dope Smuggling. Released by Berkeley’s Brown Bag Enterprises in 1971, the year Nixon declared a federal “War on Drugs,” SCAM is all about slinging dope and getting paid. Players move around a colorful, hand-drawn board collecting “Connections” and “Paranoia” cards, which will either help or hinder as one navigates the underground and strikes drug deals. Along the way, you will travel to exotic locations of criminal activity and drug trafficking, such as New York, Afganistan, Mexico, South America, Uranus (!), and maybe even jail. The game, which came rolled up in a tube designed to look like a big doobie, was popular among the hippies and trippers of counterculture and, as many have described it, was particularly advanced given its illicit subject matter.
 

 
Someone was able to scan the official game rules, an excerpt of it can be read below:
 

Generally, SCAM goes like this: you begin on the drop out of College square and keep moving around the AVE until you have enough money and CONNECTIONS to get off the AVE. You then work the COUNTY and NEW YORK until you get enough money to put together a smuggling SCAM. This involves FLYING to MEXICO, AFGANISTAN or SOUTH AMERICA, buying dope, smuggling back to the States and selling in NEW YORK (where there’s more money) or in THE COUNTY (where there’s less PARANOIA). To win the game, you have to make ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

If any of the following rules seem vague, unclear or stupid, feel free to change them to suit yourself.

 
Every so often, an original SCAM board game pops up for sale online. Prices usually range between $150-$350, but Triple Beam Games has a ripped-off bootleg version available on Amazon for $25, titled TRAFFIC: The game of INT’L dope smuggling. Add that to the growing list of drug dealing board games from over the years, including Dealer McDope, Beat the Border, and Gilbert Shelton’s Feds ’N’ Heads. Smack not included.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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11.12.2018
07:37 am
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Watching ‘The Prisoner’ with ‘Repo Man’ director Alex Cox
11.12.2018
06:34 am
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It turns out leaving your house still pays sometimes: if I hadn’t stepped into a bookstore last weekend, I would be unaware of Alex Cox’s latest volume, I Am (Not) A Number: Decoding the Prisoner. Kamera Books published it in the UK last December to mark the series’ 50th anniversary, and the book came out in the US this May.

Like his introductions to cult movies on Moviedrome—like his interpretation of his own Repo Man, for that matter, a movie Cox insists is really about nuclear war—the director’s reading of The Prisoner is idiosyncratic and ingenious. Even though I don’t buy them yet, the solutions he proposes to the series’ riddles are brilliant and original; I won’t spoil them here, but it’s safe to say you’re unlikely to have come up with them yourself.
 

 
The 17 episodes of The Prisoner were broadcast in a different order in the UK and the US, and their correct sequence has never been settled. The Wikipedia page on the subject compares the production order (“not an intended viewing order,” the alt.tv.prisoner FAQ of blessed memory asserts) with four plausible running orders advanced or defended by fans over the years, based on the original broadcast or on different kinds of internal evidence in the shows: dates mentioned, logical sequence of plot developments, etc.

Cox has no use for any of these. Along with the series’ call sheets and screenplays, his interpretation is based on watching the episodes in the order of their filming—i.e., the production order most cultists reject as totally unsuitable for viewing. While this sequence is as reasonable as any other, it radically shuffles the narrative. For instance, “Once Upon a Time,” which is the second-to-last episode in every other programming of the series because it seems to lead directly to the finale, is sixth in Cox’s.

I’ve just started rewatching the series as Cox recommends. It’s too early to say whether the production order supports his conclusions, but I’m enjoying the shake-up so far. Below, the director discusses his book in a short promotional video.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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11.12.2018
06:34 am
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