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‘Consumerism cums in your hair’: Hijacking capitalism one advert at a time
10.24.2017
08:23 am
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I suppose some may say, “It’s not big. It’s not clever.” But still, it is quite amusing. Artist provocateur Hogre is waging a war against capitalism, consumerism, right-wing politics, and religion one advert at a time.

Hogre illegally takes over large billboards and bus stop advertising displays across London and reinvents them with subversive messages. Santa Claus is no longer celebrating Christmas with a Coke but preparing to start the revolution with a fiery Molotov cocktail. Neighborhood Watch is really Neighborhood Snitch. And car companies are shitting all over the world because “Why worry about Global Warming? We all die anyway!”

Originally from Italy, Hogre’s been making his presence known for about ten years with his clever, amusing stencils and inventive acts of vandalism. It’s all jolly good fun and thought-provoking to boot but I do wonder if such well-intended artistic anarchy is more likely to result in Hogre’s work being curated in an art gallery than awakening the “sheeple” from their addiction to consumerism. But I suppose one can hope.

See more of the mighty Hogre’s art here.
 
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See more of Hogre’s sterling work, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.24.2017
08:23 am
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Earworm Indian PSA warns against street-shitting
09.29.2017
07:23 am
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I had no idea that just dropping a deuce in the streets was a thing in India, and I probably wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t read the statistics on UNICEF’s “Poo2Loo” website.

According to UNICEF’s figures, about half the population of India uses toilets, with “more than 620 million still defecating in the open.” Almost 70 percent of the population in rural India have no access to toilets.

That’s half the population dumping over 65 million kilos of poo out there every day. If this poo continues to be let loose on us, there will be no escaping the stench of life threating infections, diseases, and epidemics.

Apparently, the amount of human excrement that people come into direct contact is causing a public health crisis, and in an effort to educate the Indian public on the necessity of using toilet facilities, UNICEF has come up with the most unbelievably insane PSA of all time.
 

 
“Take the Poo to the Loo” is not only one of the most bizarre PSAs I’ve ever seen, it’s also got one of the catchiest songs. In fact, this thing is a straight-up jam that’s likely to be stuck in your head for days after just one listen. The animation in the clip is also top-notch. The entire thing is extremely well done in spite of how utterly crazy it might seem.

In the climax of this completely bonkers video, the residents of the town build a gigantic disco toilet and throw a “Poo Party,” in which all of the poo (that had been antagonizing people in the streets) congregates and dives in. The townspeople summarily flush all of the poo down the disco toilet just before instructions appear on screen allowing you to make “Take the Poo to the Loo” your ringtone.
 

 
The first time I watched this thing, I was taken aback at the opening line which is “First thing in the morning, what do I see? A pile of shit staring at me.” It just gets weirder from there. I almost lost my shit (no pun intended) when the Indian “happy birthday” crap rap started. This is seriously the best song I’ve heard in 2017.

See for yourself, after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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09.29.2017
07:23 am
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That time the Velvet Underground’s ‘Venus in Furs’ was used to peddle tires…
09.27.2017
01:21 pm
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It’s difficult to tell which lyric in Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs,” off of the band’s debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico, so causes tire manufacturers to incorporate the song into their commercials. Is it “downy sins of streetlight fancies” or “tongue of thongs, the belt that does await you”? See, rumor has it that Goodyear once made a commercial that uses “Venus in Furs” but it was clearly not shown for long, hardly anyone seems to have seen it. Somewhere there lurks a royalty-clearance attorney who knows the answer to this question.

In James Dean Transfigured: The Many Faces of Rebel Iconography, Claudia Springer mentions the Goodyear commercial one time, in between references to William S. Burroughs’ Nike ad and Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” appearing in a Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines spot. Ah, the 1990s.
 

 
That Goodyear spot is lost to the sands of time, alas—until some astute video collector finds it and posts it on YouTube, that is. But Goodyear wasn’t the only company that wanted “Venus in Furs” in its ad. Dunlop Tyres (a subsidiary of Goodyear’s) also ran a completely different commercial for tires in 1993 that used the song. Dunlop Tyres was a British concern—does the name give it away?—and the ad was a product of the ad agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO in London.

The commercial was directed by British director Tony Kaye, whose name you might recognize from the ugly fight over the Edward Norton movie American History X, which he directed and then disowned. This minute-long commercial featured tons of self-consciously “weird” imagery, such as a falling piano, a cackling voodoo master, a skull in flames, and a bald albino in a corset. Basically it’s what would happen if the album art for the Pixies’ Doolittle (or really any 4AD album) suddenly came to life. The name of the ad is “Tested for the Unexpected.” The people who made HBO’s Carnivale probably had to memorize this commercial. 

One wonders if the people who commissioned the ad ever heard of Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch, who bequeathed us one-half of the term sadomasochism? (For the record, I’m guessing Kaye had, at least.)

More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.27.2017
01:21 pm
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Dig these high-octane Italian lobby cards for ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’
09.25.2017
10:26 am
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The first season of Ryan Murphy’s docudrama series Feud, released earlier this year, has triggered an uptick in interest in the sublimely dishy goings-on that led to Robert Aldrich’s overwrought 1962 melodrama (if that is even the word for it) Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, which featured two actresses widely known to despise each other, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. (Weirdly, I’ve copyedited bios of both women.) Ideally cast with Susan Sarandon as Davis and Jessica Lange as Crawford, the eight-episode narrative tackled one of Hollywood’s most curious releases, a pulpy embrace of camp, kitsch, and lurid material that seems miles ahead of its time.

In Italy, the movie, under the title Che fine ha fatto Baby Jane?, didn’t debut until the spring of 1963, but when it did Italian audiences were no doubt lured to purchase a ticket by this utterly fantastic atomic-age lobby art, done up in an eye-popping palette including a garish combination of hot pink, powder blue, and bright yellow. The irony, of course, is that none of these colors are to be found in the film itself, being that it was shot in black and white.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.25.2017
10:26 am
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Kate Bush’s charming Japanese TV ad for Seiko watches, 1978
09.21.2017
08:50 am
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As quickly as the young Kate Bush had won over the British public, she was even more of an overnight sensation in Japan where she performed “Moving” at the Nippon Budokan arena during the 7th annual international Tokyo Music Festival. The performance was broadcast on Japanese television on June 21, 1978 and was watched by an estimated audience of 35 million people. Bush came in second, awarded the silver prize, to American soul singer Al Green.

You’ll note that her microphone is nestled inside of the flowers that she’s wearing, allowing her free movement during a song called… “Moving” (inexplicably retitled as something that translates as “Angels and Little Demons” when it was released in Japan as a single). The song was from her debut album The Kick Inside and is a tribute to Lindsay Kemp, who taught Bush (and before her David Bowie) mime in the mid-Seventies.
 

Kate Bush performs at the Tokyo Music Festival in June 1978.
 

 
Bush may not have nabbed the top prize at the contest, but an offer did come her way immediately afterwards for a lucrative commercial sponsorship deal for Seiko watches that must’ve taken the sting out of losing.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.21.2017
08:50 am
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When the legendary Hipgnosis did fashion shoots for ‘classy’ porn mag Club International (NSFW)

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It’s a fair bet that a large part of many (most?) record collections includes a good percentage of covers by the legendary London-based graphic designers Hipgnosis.

Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell who were the original founders of Hipgnosis turned out a massive array of iconic designs for bands as varied as Pink Floyd (who had been the first band to commission the duo), T.Rex, Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, 10CC, Wings, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Jon Anderson, Depeche Mode, XTC, ABC, Megadeth, and even England’s former poet laureate John Betjeman.

Apart from album covers, Hipgnosis also designed a series of fashion spreads for the softcore porn mag Club International and its more hardcore American edition Club.

Club International was founded by porn supremo Paul Raymond, who ran the legendary strip club the Raymond Revuebar in London’s seedy Soho district and a series of best-selling porn mags. Under its first editor Tony Power, Club International was intended as a high-quality adult entertainment magazine mixing the best of writers with the finest photographers and designers.

Hipgnosis was hired to add a classy touch to the magazine’s fashion spreads. The gig allowed Thorgerson and Powell to try-out a few ideas which they would later re-use on album covers—the flasher who would reappear on Pink Floyd’s A Nice Pair, for instance, while the water-in-the-face shots would feature on Peter Frampton’s Something’s Happened. See more Hipgnosis glorious work here.
 
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See more of Hipgnosis’ fashion work for Club International, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.20.2017
12:55 pm
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AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson’s balls out metal vocals for a Hoover vacuum commercial in 1980
08.24.2017
08:34 am
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An early shot of AC/DC with vocalist Brian Johnson (pictured in the center).
 
I recently got into a profound internal dialog about AC/DC’s post-Bon Scott days, which, as much as my heart will always belong to Bon, were still very formative for me. It’s also a bonafide fact that Brian Johnson himself helped give us another 34 years of music from one of the greatest rock bands fucking ever. Honestly, just think for a minute about it this way—imagine if 1980’s Back in Black never got made. It could have happened. But as usual, I’ve digressed away from the awesomeness that is this post—that time back in 1980 that Johnson got a call from the folks at the Hoover Vacuum company about recording a jingle for one of their television commercials.

According to Johson, he was offered “350 quid” (or about $700 at the time) with residuals to do the commercial for Hoover, on the very same day he got the call from a representative of his future bandmates in AC/DC about auditioning as Bon Scott’s replacement. In an entirely awesome turn of events, after Johnson came in and recorded the most metal jingle of all time for Hoover, he walked across the street to Vanilla Studios where AC/DC was holding their auditions. As Johnson recalls, he opened the door to the studio where Angus, Malcolm, Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams were jamming announcing himself as “Brian from Newcastle.” Malcolm brought the weary Johnson a bottle of beer which he immediately sucked down to get into the mood. The band then asked him what he might like to sing for them to which Johnson suggested “Nutbush City Limits” the ass-kicking 1973 single from Ike & Tina Turner. Johnson was offered the dream gig a few days later.

The Hoover commercial, and more, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.24.2017
08:34 am
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Dazzling movie posters from the golden age of adult cinema
08.23.2017
10:10 am
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Motorpsycho, 1965
 
The urge to observe the sex act is probably an un-displaceable mainstay in the human animal, and the 1960s, ushering in revolutions in so many different arenas, also featured a noticeable mainstreaming of the X-rated movie. Interest in sexual subjects was brewing in the period just prior to that, for sure. In the mid-1950s Nabokov’s novel Lolita had been banned in England and France; while the U.S. authorities took no official action against the book, publishers were leery of offering it. Eventually Putnam took it on and it rapidly made the bestseller list.

Porn movies saw a somewhat similar evolution. At the start of the 1960s they were “unmentionable.” By 1970 they were a common topic of conversation among sophisticated adults, and there was even talk, which seems hopelessly quixotic today, of the existence of sex movies that would exist alongside foreign movies, documentaries, etc. as a respectable genre. By 1980 the initial impulse of curiosity had given way to a well-organized industry, and (as Boogie Nights taught us all) the advent of video threatened to do away with brick-and-mortar porn cinemas, and with them would go the amusing and/or startling X-rated poster.

Russ Meyer was obviously a dominant figure in this evolution, especially in the 1960s, and his playful obsession with large mammaries led him to direct several masterpieces of titillation, including The Immoral Mr. Teas, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Motorpsycho, and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
 

 
If you take anything from the 1950s and 1960s, whether it be TV commercials or matchbook covers or LP cover design or living room sets, it often elicits a powerful appreciation in us, partially out of reasons of nostalgia but also due to obvious aesthetic appeal. The same is true of X-rated posters, it turns out. The need to hide and yet reveal what the movie is about nudged graphic designers to get inventive with the imagery, and as a result the entire genre appears to us today to be simultaneously crass and innocent.

Reel Art Press has a marvelous volume coming out soon celebrating the graphic design of the X-rated poster from the classic age of porno, titled X-Rated: Adult Movie Posters of the 60s and 70s (edited by Tony Nourmand, designed by Graham Marsh). Featuring an introduction by Peter Doggett, author of respected tomes about the Beatles and Lou Reed, the book is jammed with pictorial marvels that are a feast for the eyes. We’ve selected a few sample posters to whet your appetite but the book has dozens more as well as helpful context for many of them.
 

The Immoral Mr. Teas, 1959
 

Eve and the Handyman, 1961
 

The Orgy at Lil’s Place, 1963
 
Many more posters after the jump…..
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.23.2017
10:10 am
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Super ‘wide-angle’ Italian lobby cards for ‘Easy Rider’
08.17.2017
09:26 am
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I haven’t posted much about lobby cards on Dangerous Minds. They can be cool but basically it takes a lot to impress me. Most lobby cards are just random stills from the movie with some text underneath (or in the corner). It’s not often that someone in the process goes the extra mile to make them really interesting.

For some reason the Italian lobby cards that were produced for Dennis Hopper’s 1969 directorial debut Easy Rider are little short of breathtaking. Apparently the movie was called Easy Rider: Libertà e Paura (Liberty and Fear) there, and a fair bit of artistic ingenuity and creativity went into these excellent images that are in fact, strikingly, even wider than the movie’s aspect ratio of 1.85:1. They aren’t merely stills but instead are conceptual collages that create fascinating and wholly imagined tableaux that never actually appear in the movie at all. They’re overstuffed and provocative and full of life and all I can say is “Bravo!” (or “Brava!”) to whatever individual or group of individuals was responsible for them.

In case you didn’t know, there’s only a tiny handful of movies that can be said to have kicked off the bracing, vital American cinema of the 1970s, and Easy Rider‘s on the short list for sure. Among its other virtues, the movie brought into mainstream cinema frank content about drug use.

But forget all of that and take in these marvelous bits of advertising which can be appreciated by all who’ve seen the film, and even those who have not.
 

 

 
See the rest after the jump…...

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.17.2017
09:26 am
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Fruitopia commercials scored by Kate Bush and the Cocteau Twins
08.16.2017
08:12 am
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If I say the word “Fruitopia” to you, there’s a decent chance you’ll respond with some comment about the 1990s—the savviest among you might even say “1994” specifically. Fruitopia was the brainchild of a marketing head at Coca-Cola named Sergio Zyman—he also brought the world the overt GenX pandering elixir OK Cola right around the same time. The fruit-flavored tea concoction was a clear attempt to move in on the territory staked out by Snapple, and while Fruitopia had its day in the sun, as is often the case the first product to define a niche gets to own that niche.

Fruitopia is remembered today for its neo-hippie trappings. The flavors had names like The Grape Beyond, Tangerine Wavelength, Citrus Consciousness, and Raspberry Psychic Lemonade, and the marketing consisted mainly of trippy and “deep” kaleidoscope commercials featuring cosmic music scored and performed by Kate Bush and the Cocteau Twins and the Muffs, among others.
 

 
Marty Cooke and Andrew Chinich of Chiat/Day oversaw the campaign; they reached out to Bush and were delighted when she agreed to do nine spots for the drink. According to Cooke, Bush indicated that “she was interested in providing a lot of variety, from Japanese drummers to Moroccan music ... and she came through in spades.”

In Graeme Thomson’s book Kate Bush: Under the Ivy, we get this:
 

[Bush] accepted a commission to write several brief pieces of music to accompany the $30m US TV ad campaign for the launch of Coca-Cola’s ne fruit drink Fruitopia…. It seemed an incongruous move. Bush had consistently turned down advances of this nature….

The motivation for her changing tack wasn’t clear but was probably varied: far from the commercial ingenue she sometimes appears, certainly the financial rewards would have been extremely significant; perhaps she liked the tone of the ads, which were relatively innoative and visually stimulating and over which she was given complete artistic control. She may also have recognised an opportunity to cast the net of her music a little wider, while also finding a home for all the melodic waifs and rhythmic strays that had never quite found a home in her “proper” songs. ... [each melody hinted] at a longer piece, several reminiscent of the kind of odd, rhythmic, electronic pop she was making around the time of The Dreaming.

 
Here are the ads—in some of them, Bush supplies identifiable vocals, as in “Fighting Fruit” in which you can hear her chant “Hey hey fruit!” and “Skin,” in which you can hear her uttering a sort of “bol,” or Indian rhythmic syllable, that sounds like “digga dha.”

Kate Bush, “Fighting Fruit”

 
Much more after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.16.2017
08:12 am
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