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Holy shit, there’s video of Fred Neil singing ‘The Dolphins’
01.17.2019
08:55 am
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Rick Danko and Fred Neil onstage in Coconut Grove (Photo by Mark Diamond, via Twitter)
 
Other than an impromptu appearance at a Coconut Grove café in 1986, Fred Neil’s last show was a 1977 set at a Tokyo event called “Japan Celebrates the Whale and Dolphin.” All of his last concerts had something to do with marine mammals: before the Tokyo gig, there had been “Rolling Coconut Revue” shows at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in aid of a dolphin rescue organization Neil helped establish, and he made an appearance at the Sacramento “Celebration of Whales” event featuring Joni Mitchell, Gary Snyder, and Gov. Jerry Brown, singing “The Dolphins” with Joni.

After mentioning St. Petersburg, Florida in my last post, I started poking around for footage of hometown boy Fred Neil performing, or talking, or pumping gas, for that matter. There is not much. In fact, as far as I can tell, there is almost nothing—only this outstanding performance of “The Dolphins” from one of Neil’s last shows. The video below, dated August 2, 1976, likely comes from one of the Coconut Grove Playhouse benefits; that’s John Sebastian on harmonica, and I reckon that’s Neil’s former partner Vince Martin stage right.

With reasons to despair growing fat and multiplying, I thought we could all use a little pick-me-up from Fred Neil, whose music is always there to remind you that, no matter how bad it gets, you can always curl up in the trunk of your car with your handguns and slam heroin.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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01.17.2019
08:55 am
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Freddie Mercury really loved his cats
12.05.2018
06:46 am
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Freddie Mercury had many loves in his life. One of his big passions was his love of cats. Mercury so loved cats he was once described as “rock’s greatest lover of cats.” According to his last partner (and the man he called his “husband”) Jim Hutton, Mercury “treated cats like his own children.”

He would constantly fuss over them, and if any of them came to any harm when Freddie was away, heaven help us. During the day the cats had the run of the house and grounds, and at night one of us would round them up and bring them inside.

When on tour, or away recording, Mercury regularly phoned home to speak to his beloved felines. During his lifetime, Mercury had ten cats starting in the seventies with Tom and Jerry (who he shared with the woman Mercury described as his “common-law wife” Mary Austin), Tiffany (a present from Austin), and then a cluster of cats (Delilah, Dorothy, Goliath, Lily, Miko, Oscar and Romeo) who he shared with Hutton at their home in Garden Lodge, Logan Mews, London. As Hutton later wrote in his memoir Mercury and Me, Mercury’s favorite feline was his calico cat named Delilah:

Of all the cats at Garden Lodge, Delilah was Freddie’s favourite and the one he’d pick up and stroke the most often. When Freddie went to bed, it was Delilah he brought with us. She’d sleep at the foot of the bed, before slipping out for a night-time prowl around Garden Lodge.

Delilah was a spoilt cat and depended on Freddie for everything, even protection from the other cats. They would gang up on her and she would run into our bedroom—it was a cat sanctuary, In many ways the cats were Freddie’s children, and we all thought of them that way. The slightest feline sneeze or twitch and he’d send them off to the vet for a check-up. And we were old-fashioned when it came to having to have sex in total privacy. Whenever Freddie and I jumped in the bedroom to make love, he would always ensure that none of the cats were watching.

Mercury dedicated his solo album Mr. Bad Guy (1985) “to my cat Jerry—also Tom, Oscar, and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe—screw everybody else!” and so loved Delilah that he wrote a song about her on Queen’s Innuendo album in 1991:

Delilah, Delilah, oh my, oh my, oh my - you’re irresistible
You make me smile when I’m just about to cry
You bring me hope, you make me laugh - and I like it
You get away with murder, so innocent
But when you throw a moody you’re all claws and you bite

Delilah once peed all over Mercury’s Chippendale suite—something that apparently happened quite often with all of the cats on other fixtures and furnishings. Not everyone in Queen was so enamored by Mercury’s song to a cat, drummer Roger Taylor claimed he “hated it.”

Before he died in 1991, Mercury told one journalist he planned to leave everything to “Mary and the cats.” And here are some of those little darlings who outlived Freddie and inherited his wealth.
 
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Jerry.
 
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Romeo.
 
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Oscar.
 
More of Freddie’s furry feline friends, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.05.2018
06:46 am
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Boy George presents Captain Sensible and Lene Lovich in grossout animal rights film ‘Meathead’


 
The bad news first: the episode of Boy George’s nineties talk show Blue Radio on which Poly Styrene appeared, though she said she almost didn’t make it because of a close encounter with a spaceship, has not yet entered the worldwide digital video stream. Pair that with Lora Logic singing “Bow Down Mister” and you’ve got yourself the beginnings of a quality Dangerous Minds post!

But while scouring the intertubes in search of material for the Boy George/X-Ray Spex/Hare Krishna ultramegapost already inked in the book of my dreams, I came across this curiosity. Half of Meathead is like every other animal rights movie you’ve ever seen—emetic camcorder tape of fowl, ruminants, canines and hogs trudging through their relatives’ offal in cramped pens, proceeding inevitably toward the animal-snuff-film equivalent of the money shot—but half of it is a black-and-white narrative about a rich guy with an insatiable hunger for gore, fed by his maid (Lene Lovich) and a hamburger-juggling clown (Captain Sensible). If you make it to the end without hurling all over your keyboard, you’ll see Boy George’s interview with director Gem de Silva. Beware: you may blow chunks.

Never having listened to Captain Sensible’s 1995 double album Meathead, I can’t say if the connection between the CD and the film extends beyond a shared disgust with flesh food. But I guarantee the film is much shorter.
 
Watch it, after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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08.16.2018
08:56 am
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That time two scientists killed an elephant with a massive overdose of LSD because…science

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There are times when the best advice is ignored by those its intended to help even when it’s given by example. If only Tusko the elephant had taken the hint from Nellie and packed his trunk and waved goodbye to Oklahoma City Zoo, then maybe dear old Tusko could have avoided his untimely and unnecessary death on August 3rd, 1962, from a massive overdose of LSD injected by two scientists, Dr. Louis Jolyon “Jolly” West and Dr. Chester M. Pierce, and Mr. Warren Thomas, head honcho at the city zoo..

I can’t help but think if Beavis and Butthead had ever by some miracle of fate graduated from high school and then somehow majored in sciences at the local community college, then they may have come up with the idea of injecting an elephant with humongous dose of LSD just to see what would happen. Not that West, Pierce, or even Clark were random knuckleheads. They were highly qualified science guys with impressive resumes who just wanted to know what would happen if a fourteen-year-old Indian elephant tripped out on acid.

LSD was the new wonder drug. Doctors, scientists, psychiatrists, and the CIA were all fascinated at the potential use of the drug in altering behavior, helping mental illness, possible brainwashing, and as a potential military weapon. What West and Pierce were keen on discovering was the drug’s use in determining the cause of episodes of temporary madness in male elephants called musth. During these phases of aggressive behavior, male elephants secreted a fluid from their temporal gland which, on occasion, could be seen oozing out of their ears. Musth caused male elephants to go on a rampage, stomp the shit outta stuff, kill people, and generally cause havoc. West and Pierce hoped a dose of LSD would provoke a psychotic reaction in Tusko which would cause musth to occur. If it did, then LSD could be used in the research of psychotic behavior in elephants and humans—as it was thought the elephant’s brain was similar, if considerably larger, to ours.

But here was the BIG problem: no one had ever given LSD to an elephant before, well, at least no one had owned up to it, and West and Pierce had no knowledge as to what dosage would provide a suitably effective hit of the drug. They consulted zoo-guy Thomas, who noted that African elephants were often resistant to drugs. It was therefore decided to roughly estimate the dose to be administered to Tusko on calculations based on the size of dose given to humans and increasing the dosage proportionally to the elephant’s size. Somehow this ended up multiplying Tusko’s dose by approximately 3,000 percent—which is the largest known dose ever given to animal.

On Friday, August 3rd 1962, West and Pierce watched as Thomas injected Tusko with 297 milligrams of LSD. Tusko quickly started tripping balls. The elephant became very distressed and lost control of his bodily movements. Tusko ran around his pen trumpeting. His mate Judy tried to comfort poor Tusko, but it was to no avail. Believing they may have injected him with waaaay too much acid, West, Pierce, and Thomas quickly administered an antipsychotic drug—-2,800 milligrams of promazine-hydrochloride. It didn’t do much. His eyes rolled back, his tongue turned blue, and the elephant showed signs of seizures.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.25.2018
08:13 am
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‘Benji Takes a Dive’: Watch America’s favorite canine become the first dog to scuba dive
06.19.2018
09:15 am
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Dogs have done some pretty stupid shit for our entertainment. Toto, Air Bud, Beethoven, Lassie, Spuds Mackenzie—they may have been famous film and TV canines, but you do realize that they had no idea what they were doing, right? I’m sure some Hollywood actors often don’t, either.

Perhaps you are familiar with the popular film franchise, Benji. Its namesake was a small, golden mixed-breed pup whose wit and right-place-right-time arrangement allowed him to solve capers and protect those defenseless humans who truly needed him. As a result, Benji was a much-adored canine worldwide and his premiere 1974 film was a massive commercial success, which spawned an excess of sequels. Earlier this year, Benji made his streaming debut with a newly revamped, made-for Netflix film. I didn’t watch it.

But what you probably didn’t know is that in addition to being an acting dog, Benji also **allegedly** holds a world record. For scuba diving. Aired in 1981, Benji Takes a Dive at Marineland was a made-for-television special that follows the ever-so-lovable pooch as he ventures below the surface, to go where no dog has ever actually wanted to go.
 

Lana Afghana
 

PW Pugit
 
While a ‘behind-the-scenes’ approach could have deemed worthwhile, there isn’t much to report back on this Benji special. It’s hosted by Lana Afghana, a dog-mermaid puppet reporter who is sexually attracted to our protagonist (played by a female dog, mind you). Joining Lana is Benji’s manager PW Pugit, a Boss Hogg-type bulldog (also a puppet). The story begins as Benji arrives by sailboat at Marineland of Florida, a marine mammal park on Florida’s Northeast coast - where the momentous dive will take place. Jesse Davis and the Mulberry Squares, a calypso band of singing fruits, take us into the film’s musical number “I Don’t Know,” containing the rather morbid lyrics “I don’t know can dog survive, when he takes a dive.”
 

The Mullberry Squares
 

What the fuck…
 
The most interesting character of the storyline is its villain Boris Todeth, a communist militia dachshund puppet who attempts to ruin the dive in the name of political ideals. He even goes as far as swim to the very bottom of a shark-infested tank to steal Benji’s custom scuba suit. The plan is quickly exposed, but it didn’t really matter anyway because there was barely any conflict to begin with.
 

Benji and Boris
 

Benji feeds dolphins
 
It all pays off when Benji takes his historic dive. What a beautiful moment. Did he realize how magical it was? Probably not. Was this a miserable experience for him? Very likely. Benji’s suit was specifically-designed for the television special, all the way down to the special hatch that was installed for treat rewards during training. Benji spent weeks practicing diving in a backyard pool in California and whatever that entailed, it was enough to prepare him to swim among the fishes of Marineland.
 
Watch Benji take a dive, after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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06.19.2018
09:15 am
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When nature calls: Pay a visit to the bathroom full of living spiders
05.22.2018
09:00 am
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If you have a fear of spiders, cave critters, creepy-crawlies, or maybe even restrooms, then, I guess this one’s not for you.

This could be Peter Parker’s bathroom. Or maybe Arachne’s. Or possibly the john of one of those half-human-half-arachnid kinda creatures born out some nuclear catastrophe. I suppose most people are just shaking their heads right now and saying “Uh-uh. No way am I going to drop a deuce anywhere near these eight-legged freaks in case they crawl up my butt.” I guess we can agree this is an unusual bathroom,

These photographs first appeared on Facebook post headed “Such a cool bathroom idea!!!” As you might surmise, this was on a page for those with a liking for insects, bugs, and spiders. The bathroom is (apparently) functional although it has been decked out to house several whip spiders or tailless whip scorpions—or amblypygi which is “an ancient order of arachnid chelicerate arthropods.” These amblypygi have eight legs but only use six for walking. The front two are used as “antennae-like feelers, with many fine segments giving the appearance of a ‘whip’.” They have pincer-like chelicerae which are used to hold and grind prey before digestion. They have eight eyes, are non-venomous to humans, and don’t weave webs. Some of you may recall seeing one of these critters on Ron Weasley’s head in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. They’re quite shy and harmless though maybe not the most comforting of things to find when, er, “spending a penny.”
 
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More toilet critters, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.22.2018
09:00 am
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‘Arf!’: The video variety show made for dogs
03.22.2018
10:22 am
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I wish I could take my dog everywhere with me. Recently, I ran into a man on the street protesting our local 7-Eleven. He claimed that the popular convenience store wasn’t “pet friendly” enough; that they wouldn’t allow his dog “Snowball” inside with him while he shopped. I don’t believe Snowball was fit to be a service dog or anything. It’s just nice to have the company every so often. And I’m sure our dogs would prefer the company, too.
 

 
I’m fairly certain that my dog Bella gets lonely when I’m not around. It really sucks to look her in the eyes before I leave the house. I mean, who knows what kind of crazy shit is going on inside her brain? There exist several remedies for pet separation anxiety and, in an age where we can have basically everything we want, there’s now a cable channel called DOGTV.
 
The concept is pretty self-explanatory. DOGTV is a 24/7 television network made exclusively for our canine friends. Designed by animal behavioral specialists, the station’s programming supports a dog’s natural everyday patterns with its original, ASPCA-approved content of three different categories: Relaxation, Stimulation, and Exposure. Each episodical segment is 3-6 minutes long and has been color-adjusted to appeal to a dog’s unique eyesight. Common everyday scenarios such as a visit to the park or a ride through town are accompanied by a soundtrack of healing frequencies, positive affirmations, and relaxing music. The programming is even considered educational. By use of gentle, low volume exposure, unfamiliar sounds are slowly introduced to the viewer, thereby “training” him or her to grow more comfortable. DOGTV has produced over 2,000 original programs to date, including The DOGTV Hour, which is intended to be enjoyed by pets with their owners. Honestly, I enjoy the dog programming much more than I do the human programming.
 

DOGTV ‘Stimulation’ Sample Episode

Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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03.22.2018
10:22 am
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Filmmakers and felines: Jean Cocteau had a club for cat lovers!
01.10.2018
10:38 am
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If you like movies, then you probably have at least a passing familiarity with French director/artist Jean Cocteau. Maybe you picked up La Belle et la bête (1946) or Orphée (1950) during a half-price Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble. Maybe someone in film school made you watch Le Sang d’un Poète (1930) in some experimental film class and you thought: “What is this? This is some weird ass shit but…I like it! It’s definitely different than those other experimental guys. I might be able to get down with…what’s this dude’s name? Cocteau?”

Most cinephiles and culture vultures know the basics: Cocteau was French. He was gay. His social set was expansive, attracting everyone from Proust, Man Ray, and Pablo Picasso to queer artists like Gertrude Stein, Jean Genet, and Marlene Dietrich. Basic knowledge is fine if that’s all you want, but Jean Cocteau is SO much more interesting. His art was hot, his writing was beautiful, he was controversial…but let’s get real: What makes this Frenchman unique?

He loved the hell out of cats and he was not afraid to let the world know it!

Cocteau was romantically involved with his lead actor, Jean Marais for over two decades. It’s unclear whether Marais also enjoyed cats so that part of their affair is still a mystery. We do know that Cocteau firmly supported his lover’s close relationship with the dog he saved during WWII, Muluk. 

Clearly, bringing Muluk on-set was no problem. Wonder if it was in his contract?
 

 
What is it they say—opposites attract? If that’s the case and if we place cats and dogs on the spectrum as polar opposites, then these two men probably had a banging sex life! While Marais, son of a veterinarian, was fond enough of his dog to take glamour shots with him and signed autographs on pictures that featured himself and Muluk together, Jean Cocteau was much more than your average cat guy. More than your average cat lady, even. Cocteau believed in felines.
 

Jean Cocteau illustrated this lovely book of poetry in 1962, ‘La dame aux Chats’ (The Lady with Cats).
 

 
One of the illustrations: the lady with the cats!
 

These days Jean Cocteau might even be more notable on the internet for his heavily meme-d quotes about cats than for his elegant film work.

1) “I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”

2) “I prefer cats over dogs because police cats don’t exist.”

 

 
Cocteau made a great deal of art, but he made a lot of cat-related art. Not only is it vast and multi-faceted, spanning from sculpture to murals to sketch, it’s also extremely joyful. The Cocteau cats are a real treasure. 
 
Cocteau painted this in the local chapel near where he lived in Milly-la-Forêt, in 1959, where he wished to be buried (and was). It is still there.
 

As a cat lover, Cocteau shared his home with multiple feline companions. While not able to divine every furry friend’s name, two of his marvelous cats went by Madeline and Karoun. Cocteau was quite close with Karoun and nicknamed his furry buddy “King of Cats,” even dedicating a whole book to him! Lucky cat!
 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Ariel Schudson
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01.10.2018
10:38 am
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Humongous statues of cats wearing helmets
01.03.2018
10:28 am
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Kenji Yanobe is a Japanese sculptor who has isolated a fascinating niche for himself. Inspired by the Cold War nuclear nightmares of Japanese kaiju cinema, he has in the past focused on huge statues of robots wearing brightly colored hazmat suits and his work also has been known to incorporate actual geiger counters. Some have called his work “cynical,” and when the subject comes up he tends to switch the parameter to “humor.” But somehow, actual fear constitutes the core impetus of his work. Yanobe has said, “I worry about things. I’m constantly thinking about people’s happiness.”

Yanobe has been identified as a member of the “Otaku Generation,” which consists of Japanese kids who grew up in the 1970s consuming robot shows, animated TV shows and movies, and comic books. Wikipedia refers to his art as “upbeat yet nightmarish,” which is definitely a cool place to be. For eighty bucks you can buy a curious keychain of a Yanobe person wearing yellow protective gear and a Hitler mustache. There are also a bunch of books about Yanobe.

“Ship’s Cat,” the artists most recent project, recalls his earlier work but with a patina of heroism and idealism. There’s another way to describe the new statues: they depict enormous cats wearing helmets, and that is awesome.
 

Yanobe at work on one of his feline creations
 
As far as I can tell, all of them are public artworks intended to be interacted with by the public; none of them are in a museum. The first one was installed as part of the glass entryway at the We Base hostel in Hakata, which is known as Japan’s oldest port town. Two of them are at the Tsutaya Books within the Ginza Six department store, and one of them is perched atop Nihonmatsu Castle in the northern Fukushima Prefecture.

The inspiration for the works comes from the centuries-old tradition of bringing a cat as a crew member for trips on oceangoing vessels, whether for trading, exploration, or military purposes. Cats have long been regarded as useful onboard ships because of their penchant for chasing mice and rats, which not only cause damage in ropes and wires but also are dangerous disease carriers.

Over time, as in bookstores, hostels, and communes the world over, cats became an accepted and even beloved part of the experience of working on a ship. Yanobe has drawn inspiration from these noble felines, leading him to create oversized sculptures of cats wearing protective gear and helmets.

An excellent touch is that the cat’s eyes light up at night.
 
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More pics and a video after the jump…..
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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01.03.2018
10:28 am
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‘Silence is violence’: Social Justice Kittens 2018 calendar is here!
12.06.2017
10:51 am
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OMG, it’s finally here! The 2018 Social Justice Kitten calendar by Sean Tejaratchi. Sean is the creator of Crap Hound and the hilarious online LiarTownUSA blog.

The calendar would make a perfect gift for that certain social justice warrior and cat lover in your life.

This is a full-color, 12” x 12” grid-style wall calendar featuring kittens!

Each month features a charming kitten professionally photographed in a heroic pose appropriate to a small cat defiantly speaking out on the hottest social justice issues of the day.

A sassy, uncompromising declaration erases any doubts about each precious cat’s passionate convictions, sense of humor, and tough-as-nails attitude!

Each of these twelve adorable kittens was subject to a week-long, grueling interview process to ensure there was absolutely nothing problematic in its beliefs.

The calendar sells for $16.00 here.


 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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12.06.2017
10:51 am
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