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Terry Riley and La Monte Young in a documentary about their teacher, Pandit Pran Nath


Poster by Marian Zazeela for a raga cycle performance at St. John the Divine, 1991 (via The Hum)
 
William Farley’s In Between the Notes profiles the late Pandit Pran Nath, a singer and teacher in the Kirana school of Indian classical music. It features his most famous pupils, Terry Riley, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, and the late, great music scholar Robert Palmer sticks his head in, too.

Kicked out of the house at the age of 13 because he insisted on becoming a musician, Pran Nath made friends with the outdoors, as this short documentary illustrates. In Delhi, he demonstrates his keen ear for bird songs; on his return to the Tapkeshwar Caves, where, on the advice of his guru, he had lived for five years as a renunciant, Pran Nath shows how the sound of rushing water can stand in for the drone of a tambura when you are a homeless sadhu.
 

Pandit Pran Nath with Ann and Terry Riley (via Complete Word)
 
But if it was to be a tambura instead of a babbling brook, it had better be a “Pandit Pran Nath-style tambura.” Except in the caves, Terry Riley has his arm around one of these distinctive-sounding instruments every time he appears in the movie. Pran Nath’s New York Times obituary describes his specifications for the drone axe:

He secured the instrument’s upper bridge, changed the rounding of the resonating gourd and had instruments made without paint or varnish that might clog the pores of the wood, all to give the tamboura a richer tone.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.18.2018
06:46 am
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Comedy God Rik Mayall talks ‘The Young Ones’ with co-writer Ben Elton from 1985
07.17.2018
01:41 pm
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Has God seemed distant recently? Does He no longer return your calls? Did He forget your birthday? Does He no longer go down on you?

Well don’t lose faith kids, just say a prayer to Rik Mayall.

Comedy God Rick Mayall may have died in 2014 but he is now up there in Heaven making Jesus laugh with his fart jokes, impressing Moses with his humungous willie, and drawing cartoons for Mohammad.

I tell you, I often say a prayer to Saint Rik of The Young Ones. And you know, most times I get a reply. It could be a merest waft of noxious gas, a childish burp, a disdainful snort, or just the usual disembodied hand waving two-fingers at me.

If people pray to saints and what-have-yous who have been dead for hundreds of years then why not Rik who has hardly been dead at all and brought his penis, I mean happiness to millions of people.

I first came across Rik accidentally when I hit the remote button during a porn movie (ahem) suddenly the screen was filled with this bug-eyed loon reciting poetry about theater and Vanessa Redgrave. Who was this juicy hunk of mammal? What was he doing? Why was he so angry? Why was he so funny?

Mayall was one of those “Alternative Comedians” who had established themselves through London’s pub rock circuit before finding residency at the Comedy Store in London in the late 1970s. There was a whole bunch of them: Alexei Sayle, Nigel Planer, Peter Richardson, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Andy de la Tour, and Mayall’s comedy partner Ade Edmondson. And if the press were to be believed (which generally they’re not) these young people were taking over everything. To be fair, it was very difficult to see any one of these acts in the late seventies early eighties on TV. Yes, yes, they did, of course, pop up on late night chat shows like Friday Night, Saturday Morning, or the strange one-off hybrid series like Boom, Boom, Out Go the Lights—which mixed traditional and alternative comedy, or sketch shows like the hugely popular A Kick Up the Eighties. But a five minute blast here or a half-hour there wasn’t exactly storming the Crystal Palace.

At the time out of the Alternative Comedians, it was between Mayall and Sayle who appeared the most on TV. Sayle had been the compere at the Comedy Store who changed his style of stand-up after seeing Robin Williams. He performed his Marxist-inspired routines on a variety of what might be loosely termed traditional shows—most surprisingly on O.T.T. an adult version of kids cult show Tiswas—kids, Sayle once remarked, loved him, but he wasn’t exactly fond of the little critters. Mayall, meanwhile, appeared in adverts for candy bars, sketch shows, music shows (reading his poetry, of course), and then established himself in the nation’s psyche as the investigative reporter Kevin Turvey in A Kick Up the Eighties.

So far so good. But it was when he wrote and devised The Young Ones with Lise Mayer and Ben Elton circa January 1981 that the world was about to change and a Comedy God appear unto nations.
 
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‘Once every lifetime…’
 
Nine o’clock on a Tuesday night, November 9, 1982, The Young Ones were unleashed onto the world. Though the series followed a traditional sitcom format of four people in a room with a TV, The Young Ones managed to divide a nation and started, for want of a better word, modern comedy. This was a time when there were just four main channels on British TV: BBC 1 and 2, ITV, and the newly launched Channel 4—which some areas of the country didn’t yet receive. Television hadn’t changed much over the previous decade or two. Monty Python and Spike Milligan’s Q series had made some inroads but their shock value had gone. The Young Ones horrified an older generation who believed these four selfish, nasty, incompetent, and odious characters Rik, Vyvyan, Neil, and Mike would corrupt their offspring and lead to the downfall of civilization. Some wanted the show banned. Others wanted the BBC Licence Fee stopped. But, for a younger generation who were starved of any television programs they could relate to, The Young Ones was like a hand grenade going off at a church service.

Keep reading after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.17.2018
01:41 pm
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From Bed to Worse: The awesomely bizarre and sleazy pulp art of Robert Bonfils


A cover painted by artist Robert Bonfils for a Greenleaf Classics Candid Reader, 1969.
 
For about a decade starting in the early 1960s, up until the time he retired from painting art used for pulp paperbacks and digests, Robert Bonfils (not to be confused with French artist Robert Bonfils), was employed by Greenleaf Publishing. Run by William Hamling, Greenleaf published many things including a vast number of adult-oriented books using art provided almost exclusively by Bonfils until the early 70s, paired with stories written by the wildly prolific, larger-than-life Harlan Ellison, who we just lost late last month, and Kurt Vonnegut.

During Greenleaf’s peak-adult pulp years, Hamling was known to keep his lawyer Stanley Fleishman on the payroll, as his adult books were a constant target of the morality police. While Nixon was occupying the White House in the early 1970s, he came hard for Hamling as did FBI head J. Edgar Hoover. For years Hamling fought lawsuit after lawsuit filed against Greenleaf by the Federal Government and won. Unfortunately an obscenity charge filed by the feds in 1974 did stick and Hamlin and his editor Earl Kemp were both convicted and spent time in federal prison.

Now, here’s the thing. I’m not here to tell you what is or is not obscene. This decision is up to you and you alone—and for sure it should not be up to the fucking government to decide. Of course history often tells a much different version of this battered old story concerning the First Amendment as it relates to freedom of speech and expression. At any rate, Greenleaf was forced to shut down, and the total cost of the books pulled from the shelves following the case equaled nearly a million dollars in sales as Greenleaf was and had been the top distributor of adult sex novellas since the mid-1950s.

Now let’s get to another reason Greenleaf’s books were so controversial—the graphic and shall we say sexually adventurous covers painted by Robert Bonfils. Bonfils was responsible for the vast majority of Greenleaf’s adult lit covers, producing as many as 50 a month starting sometime in the early 1960s. Even when he wasn’t painting strange sleaze for Greenleaf, his style was mimicked by other artists employed or freelancing for the publisher as “readers” responded so strongly to Bonfils’ nearly X-rated paintings for titles such as Dr. Dildo’s Delightful Machine, and God’s Little Orgy.

Which brings me to another point about many of Greenleaf’s adult books—THE TITLES. They are as hysterical as the deviant topics they mean to inform you about—case in point being 1971’s masterpiece of sleaze about swingers, Spicy Meatball Swap. As I mentioned, Bonfils retired from the pulp paperback game in the early part of the 1970s, but would remain a vibrant member of the San Diego Fine Art community where he still resides to this day. For the purpose of this post, I’ve included examples of Bonfils’ super-charged artwork for many of Greenleaf’s amusingly titled books below—all of it is NSFW. YAY!
 

1965.
 

1965.
 

1968.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.17.2018
08:30 am
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Pure Cinema: Watch Man Ray’s experimental film ‘The Mysteries of the Chateau of Dice’ from 1929
07.16.2018
08:57 am
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Man Ray never talked much about his childhood or his family background. He didn’t think it was important or relevant to his life as an artist. He never even acknowledged his real name, Emmanuel Radnitzky. He was born in Philadelphia to Max and Minnie Radnitzky in 1890, the eldest of four children (two brothers, two sisters). His father was a tailor and when the family moved to Brooklyn in 1897, Max changed their surname to “Ray” as he was concerned over the rise in anti-semitism in New York. This name-shortening led Emmanuel, or Manny as he was called, to edit his first name to “Man.”

Ray had ambitions to be an artist. At first, his parents weren’t too happy about their eldest son opting out of the family business but decided to let Ray follow his own course going so far as to rent him a studio/room in which to work. He became a successful commercial artist and furthered his ambitions by enroling in art classes.

In 1912, Ray saw the Armory Show, the “infamous” exhibition of paintings and sculptures by new “modern” artists like Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, and Duchamp which caused considerable controversy and outrage among New Yorkers. It was Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2.” that fired Ray’s imagination to the possibilities of art. The two met and Ray and Duchamp and became friends. Together they formed the New York Dada Group—a loose gathering of “anti-art” artists. Inspired by work he had seen at the Armory Show, Ray also started painting cubist pictures and began to experiment in different forms and techniques.

But it was when Ray moved to Paris in 1920, that he truly began his career as a photographer and filmmaker. He lived in the artists’s quarter of Montparnasse, and soon fell in love with the famous model, singer, budding actress and well-known Bohemian Kiki de Montparnasse (aka Alice Prin). Kiki became Man Ray’s lover and muse, who he began to photograph, which in turn led him to his first experiment as filmmaker Le Retour à la Raison in 1923.

Man Ray aligned himself with the Cinéma pur movement, which focussed on taking film away from narrative and plot and returning it to movement and image. Its proponents were René Clair, Fernand Léger, Hans Richter and Viking Eggeling, amongst others, and their short films were the beginnings of what is now described as “Art Cinema.”

Adhering to Cinéma pur‘s loose manifesto, Man Ray’s early films, Le Retour à la Raison (Return to Reason) in 1923 and Emak-Bakia (Leave me alone) in 1926, focussed on creating startling textural patterns through the representation of objects within rhythmical loops. The experimental techniques of Le Retour à la Raison was repeated and developed in Emak-Bakia. Many of the techniques Man Ray developed (double exposure, Rayographs and soft focus) were later co-opted by animators and filmmakers during the 1940s to 1960s.

Moving away from Cinéma pur, Man Ray experimented with narrative structures and dramatic sequences. In L’Étoile de mer (The Sea Star) (1928), he told the story of two lovers from the point of view of an (underwater) starfish. The story had been inspired by a friend who kept a starfish in a jar by their bedside, and was written by the poet Robert Desnos, who died in a concentration camp in 1945.

In 1929, Ray started work on his longest film Les Mystères du Château de Dé (The Mysteries of the Chateau of Dice). This time Ray presented the story of two young travelers who visit the Villa Noailles in Hyères—the home of husband and wife Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, the patrons of Picasso, Cocteau, Dali, and many of the Surrealists—with its Cubist garden designed by Gabriel Geuvrikain. The film is surreal, dreamlike, and relies more on atmosphere and suggestion than any real narrative form. In large part it was “inspired by the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé” in particular, his poem Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira Le Hasard (A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance), written in 1897. This poem was published over twenty pages in various typeface and structure. It contained early examples of Concrete Poetry, free verse and presented highly innovative graphic design that would later influence Dada. Some Surrealists criticized Ray’s films for not having enough narrative but Ray was more interested in creating something that didn’t relate to what had gone before. In the same way, he never acknowledged his own history before he became Man Ray.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.16.2018
08:57 am
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Bring It: Meet the Gorgeous Ladies of Japanese Wrestling
07.16.2018
08:53 am
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A photo of the female professional wrestling team The Beauty Pair. This image was used to help promote a film based on their exploits in the ring.
 
Professional wrestling has a long, storied history in Japan. Active cultivation of the sport was started following WWII as the country was collectively mourning and recovering after the horrendous bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing approximately 200,000 people and other wide-spread, war-related devastation. The sport became hugely popular, and sometime in the mid-1950s wrestlers from the U.S. would make the trip to Japan to grapple with the country’s newest star athletes including an all-female “Puroresu” (professional wrestling) league, All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling Association, formed in 1955. Just over a decade later, the league would become All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling (AJW), and instead of going at it exclusively with American or other foreign wrestlers, the sport started to pit female Japanese wrestlers against each other which is just as fantastic as it sounds.

All-female wrestling in Japan in the 1970s was a glorious wonderland full of tough, athletic women happily defying cultural and gender norms. Matches were broadcast on television and a duo going by the name The Beauty Pair (Jackie Sato and Maki Ueda) were huge stars. Teenagers themselves, Sato and Ueda, were inspirational to their young female fans leading to the pair (and Sato as a solo artist), to be signed by RCA, producing several hit singles. They starred in a film based on their wrestling personas and sales of magazines featuring The Beauty Pair and other girl wrestlers were swift. The masterminds of the AJW—Takashi Matsunaga and his brothers—knew their ladies-only league was now unstoppable.
 

Japanese wrestling duo The Crush Gals, Chigusa Nagayo, and Lioness Asuka.
 
Female wrestling in the 80’s and 90’s in Japan was reminiscent of American producer and promoter David B. McLane’s magical GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), and introduced more theatrics into the sport by way of heavy metal makeup, wild hairdos, and eccentric individual personas. In the 80s, televised matches would glue an estimated ten million viewers to the tube much in part to the insane popularity of The Beauty Pair’s successors, The Crush Gals. Both women had signature closing maneuvers; Chigusa Nagayo was known for her Super Freak and Super Freak II, and her partner, Lioness Asuka often finished off her opponents using one of her go-to moves like the LSD II, LSD III and the K Driller (a reverse piledriver). Like their predecessors, The Crush Gals were also musicians and put out a few singles during the 80s, often regaling viewers with songs during matches. Other ladies of the AJW such as Bull Nakano, Dump Matsumoto, Jumbo Hori and others had their own personal theme music. And since lady-wrassling was such a sensation (as it should be), the theme music created for various stars of the scene was compiled on a neat picture disc called Japanese Super Angels in 1985. Video games based on the goings on in the AJW started making the rounds in the early 1990s with titles from Sega and Super Famicom.

So, in the event all this talk about Japanese female wrestling has you wondering if it is still a thing in Japan, I’m happy to report it looks to be alive and well. I’ve posted loads of images taken from Japanese wrestling magazines, posters, and publicity photos from the 70s, 80s, and 90s featuring some of the ballsy women which took on the game of wrestling in Japan and won. Deal with it.
 

Bull Nakano and Dump Matsumoto.
 

Dump Matsumoto and her partner Crane Yu pictured with referee Shiro Abe after winning the WWWA Tag Titles in February of 1985.
 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.16.2018
08:53 am
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The baffling, unreleased sequel to ridiculous ‘80s cult film, ‘Lady Street Fighter’ (a DM premiere)
07.13.2018
07:40 am
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LSF 1
 
The phrase “so bad, it’s good” was coined to describe works like the early ‘80s film Lady Street Fighter. The flick stars German actress Renee Harmon as Linda Allen, a woman out to avenge her sister’s death. Harmon also wrote the screenplay and produced the picture. The movie was directed by James Bryan, best-known for the low-budget slasher, Don’t Go in the Woods. Harmon and Bryan collaborated on a number of low-to-no budget exploitation films, including a few that weren’t released until decades later.
 
LSF 2
Renee Harmon

Lady Street Fighter was going to be called Deadly Games, but the title was changed in an attempt to cash-in on the martial arts craze of the 1970s (the picture has nothing to do with the series of Street Fighter films starring Sonny Chiba).
 
LSF 3
 
There a several obvious issues with Lady Street Fighter, but the biggest problem is that the film is hard to follow. I mean, REALLY hard to follow. Even basic plot points are unclear. Here are two synopses:

Renee Harmon’s character’s sister has been killed. It has something to do with a “master tape” that the FBI and Assassins Inc. are after. Renee shows up in Los Angeles to find out what happened. She becomes involved in a web of kung-fu fighting/car chasing intrigue that leads her right to the top. I think. (Bleeding Skull)

Plot involves an undercover female agent (with THICK German accent) assigned to kill a dirty FBI agent. The FBI agent has also been assigned to kill her. Attracted to one another, they have an affair in between car chases and shoot outs. Plot specifics aren’t explained well at all, but I *can* tell you the movie is hilarious in parts. It really is terrible. (IMDb)

 
LSF 4
 
A sequel is promised at the conclusion of Lady Street Fighter, though after viewing the film you’ll wonder how there could possibly be any demand for a follow-up. A sequel was indeed completed around 1990, a decade after Lady Street Fighter was released, but it stayed in the can. I recently had the, ahem, privilege to see Revenge of Lady Street Fighter, and it’s even more baffling than the original. Some new scenes were shot, which forms the basis of a new convoluted narrative, but—and you’ll probably think I’m exaggerating—around 85% of Revenge is just recycled footage from the first movie.

I shit you not!
 
After the jump, something quite special…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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07.13.2018
07:40 am
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Jean Cocteau’s only color film, a tour of his ‘tattooed villa’ on the French Riviera
07.13.2018
07:38 am
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Cocteau’s head of Apollo (via Villa Santo Sospir)
 
Jean Cocteau’s La Villa Santo Sospir, shot on 16mm, is a guided tour of his patron’s villa on the French Riviera. Cocteau covered the walls and doors of the house with frescoes, or “tattoos,” as he preferred to call the illustrations of mythological figures he left all over Santo Sospir.

Though Cocteau presents this as his “amateur film,” a home movie he threw together just to show to his friends, it is in fact very fancily constructed, and offers only the merest glimpse of his domestic life. About two-thirds of the way in, he introduces the villa’s owner, Francine Weisweiller, and Cocteau’s adopted son, Édouard Dermit (“Doudou”), the total babe who appears in Les Enfants Terribles, Orpheus and Testament of Orpheus. Both appear at the easel with their own artwork, as if to emphasize their creative kinship with Cocteau. James S. Williams’ Jean Cocteau sets the scene:

Francine eventually placed her entire fortune at Cocteau’s disposal and even arranged for Dermit’s family to be brought down from the north and installed as flower growers in nearby Biot. The trappings of this new life of luxury included for Cocteau not only the villa and servants but also the beautiful garden facing the Mediterranean, a yacht called Orphée II, and trips across Europe. Cocteau, Doudou and Weisweiller were photographed as a family trio and wore identical triple-banded rings designed by Cocteau (at Francine’s expense, naturally).

We catch a glimpse of this odd but happy ménage à trois – Cocteau’s new family – in La Villa Santo Sospir, a short home movie that Cocteau made over the course of a week in August 1951 assisted by just one cameraman. With the hyper-theatricality of Cocteau’s own performance (this is the first Cocteau film to feature Cocteau as ‘Cocteau’ and his only foray into colour), La Villa Santo-Sospir often stretches the limits of taste and decency, as Cocteau himself later acknowledged when he called it an ‘indiscretion’.

For those of us who can’t afford to visit the tattooed villa there is the consolation of the coffee-table book.
 

via Reddit

Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.13.2018
07:38 am
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John Mellencamp was once a glam rocker, covered Bowie and the Stooges in the 1970s
07.12.2018
09:32 am
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1976
 
To learn that John Mellencamp was not only in a glam rock band in the early 1970s, but also covered David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World,” as well as the Iggy and the Stooges’ number, “I Need Somebody”—and did so long before those songs were revered—is one of those, “Wait, what?!?” moments. It goes against everything we think we know about a conventional performer with an established image.

At the tail end of 1972, Mellencamp formed the Bowie-inspired glam group, Trash. Around this time, he wrote his first two songs: “Loser,” purportedly a tribute to Lou Reed (despite its title), and “One Way Driver,” which Mellencamp says was influenced by the Stooges. Trash never went anywhere, and a year later Mellencamp recorded a solo demo. He subsequently took the tape to New York, where he shopped it around to various record companies. Rejected by them all, he figured he’d next try Bowie’s management, so he could get turned down by his hero’s handler. Instead, Tony Defries, the man behind MainMan—an organization that had also represented Iggy and the Stooges—signed him.

Mellencamp’s first record, Chestnut Street Incident, came out in 1976 on MCA Records. He didn’t realize his name had been changed to “Johnny Cougar” until he saw a mock-up of the album cover. When Mellencamp objected, Defries told him the LP would be released that way or not at all.
 
Chestnut
 
His 1977 follow-up , The Kid Inside, was rejected by MCA, and Mellencamp was dropped. He would soon part ways with MainMan, but after he became successful in the early 1980s, Defries released The Kid Inside.
 
The Kid Inside
 
It’s unclear when “I Need Somebody” and “The Man Who Sold the World” were recorded, exactly. Neither were on the original LPs. The Stooges cover is often included as a bonus track on CD reissues of Chestnut Street Incident, while the Bowie song is usually paired with The Kid Inside (though this edition of the first album has the two). It’s very possible Mick Ronson is the guitarist on one or both of the tracks, as Bowie’s former right-hand man played on Chestnut.

When I first heard these covers, I was surprised to find that Mellencamp’s versions ain’t half bad. I was so tickled by them that I checked out his first two LPs, hoping to find other unusual, pre-fame gems, though I soon realized that I was probably wasting my time (and indeed I was).

Anyway, it’s fascinating to hear a guy we think of as a heartland rocker seriously take on Bowie and the Stooges. It’s like finding out Robert Palmer covered Hüsker Dü.

Wait, what?!?!?
 
Listen to the Cougar cover versions, after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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07.12.2018
09:32 am
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Stockhausen made a music box for each sign of the zodiac
07.12.2018
08:34 am
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In the mid-seventies, Karlheinz Stockhausen composed the 12 melodies of Tierkreis (or Zodiac), one for each star sign. He assigned the 12 notes of the chromatic scale to the 12 astrological signs: the central pitch of “Aquarius” is E-flat, the central pitch of “Capricorn” D.

The Tierkreis melodies first appeared in Musik im Bauch, a 1975 piece for six percussionists and three music boxes. In part, it was inspired by a dream Stockhausen had about a birdman with music boxes in his stomach. Robin Maconie’s list of equipment for a performance of Musik im Bauch is suggestive:

A life-size mannequin with the face of an eagle, garlanded with Indian jingles; 3 x 2-octave chromatic scales of crotala, sounding c5 – c7, mounted on boards; stick glockenspiel; 3 switches; bell plates, humming-top in e3 (or tubular bell with very long resonance); marimbaphone, 3 musical boxes (chosen from the 12 Tierkreis musical boxes). Duration: 38’.

 

A Libra music box (via Stockhausen-Verlag)
 
Stockhausen contracted the Swiss music box concern Reuge, which continued to manufacture the zodiac boxes into the eighties. In ‘98, Stockhausen-Verlag produced a limited run for the composer’s 70th birthday, followed by another series in 2005. The Pisces, Aries and Sagittarius boxes are sold out, but the shop still has a few of the others left at €310 a piece. Hear the Cancer music box below.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.12.2018
08:34 am
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Gloriously gross trading cards from the Godfather of Gore, Tom Savini
07.11.2018
10:35 am
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The Godfather of Gore, actor and FX master Tom Savini.
 
A bit of disclosure is required before I get into the subject of this post, horror FX master Tom Savini and his sick set of trading cards from 1988. As a bonafide horror junkie seeking no cure for my habit, I’ve been a super-fan of Savini since 1980 after seeing Friday the 13th and bearing witness to his relentlessly realistic special effects style. To this day the original Friday the 13th is one of my favorite films, and I never get tired of seeing a young Kevin Bacon getting murdered while kicking back post-coital with a joint. Will these kids never learn that having premarital sex and smoking doobies will kill you? Hopefully never, but I digress.

For those of you not as well versed in all that is Tom Savini, let me help you understand the vital role he has played in the realm of horror films since the 1970s. After acting and helping to create the special effects for several films, Savini got a gig working for another godfather of the horror genre, director George Romero, doing makeup for the vampire flick Martin. Romero would then engage Savini’s services again for 1978’s game changer, Dawn of the Dead, sealing their long working relationship. After this, Savini and his penchant for blowing up horror movie victim’s heads would be seen in nearly a dozen films including 1980’s Maniac, where Savini (as his character Disco Boy) got to blow off his own dome after failing to make it in a car with a hot chick covered in glitter.

According to Savini, the horrific things he saw during his three-years as a combat photographer in Vietnam have driven his desire to achieve “anatomical correctness” as it pertains to his masterful FX work. This is not meant to imply Savini entered into his line of work because of the gruesome stuff he witnessed in Vietnam, but what that experience gave him was the ability to create authentic, realistic effects—a talent Savini has elevated to a high art form during his long career. Even as a vegetarian, I can’t help but admire one of his most colossal cinematic moments (to me anyway) from 1985’s Day of the Dead. Using a good portion of the 44 pounds of pig entrails obtained from a packing plant, Savini—assisted by another FX guru—Greg Nicotero, the death of the evil Captain Rhodes (memorably played by actor Joseph Pilato) is one of the most decadent demises in zombie-movie history, and I will arm-wrestle anyone trying to convince me otherwise.

Now that you have a good sense of the line of work Tom Savini is in, please enjoy a look at the highly collectible NSFW set of Grande Illusion Trading Cards featuring some of Savini’s FX work up to 1988. I’ve also included a few images from Savini’s 2013 book,Grande Illusions: Books I & II.
 

A card from the set showing Savini at work doing the makeup for actor Ari Lehman (Jason) in 1980’s Friday the 13th.
 

 

 
More gore after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.11.2018
10:35 am
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