FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
That time Buddy Holly called the record company to ask for his songs back (and recorded the call)
01.16.2018
10:17 am
Topics:
Tags:

Buddy Holly
 
On February 28th, 1957, Buddy Holly placed a call to Decca Records. At the time, he assumed he had been dropped by the label. According to the terms of his original contract, Holly couldn’t rerecord any songs he taped while with the company for another five years—a lifetime in the music business. One of the songs Buddy was trying to get back was “That’ll Be the Day.” It and other Holly tunes had been recorded during a July 1956 session in Nashville, but Decca—after their first two Holly singles flopped—passed on issuing any of the material. In a February 1957 session held in New Mexico, Buddy took another stab at “That’ll Be the Day” resulting in an even better take. Days later, Holly rang up Decca in the hopes the label would allow him to release “That’ll Be the Day” and the other songs that had been recorded in Nashville, on another label.

Buddy surreptitiously recorded the call, surely so he could prove it if given consent. But there would be no such luck. Holly initially contacted Decca’s A&R man/producer, Milt Gambler, but he was out of the office at the time. We then hear Buddy place a second call, this time to Decca executive Paul Cohen. One can’t help but feel bad for Holly, as Cohen explains that they’ll be holding on to those songs of his, though Holly isn’t exactly innocent here. In addition to the questionable decision to secretly tape the conversation, when asked by Cohen if he has rerecorded any of the songs, he says he hasn’t.

It’s a fascinating listen.

Hear it after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Bart Bealmear
|
01.16.2018
10:17 am
|
Aces High: Pan’s People’s sexy, strangely alluring promo for ‘Top of the Pops’ in 1971
01.16.2018
10:07 am
Topics:
Tags:

01ppanppeeps.jpeg
 
Pan’s People were the reason so many dads watched Top of the Pops. They would sit and moan and ask daft rhetorical questions about all the acts that appeared on the BBC’s legendary chart show saying things like “You call that music?” or “Is that a man or a woman? Why’s he got makeup on, then?....” while the likes of Marc Bolan, or David Bowie, or Slade lip-synched to their latest hit single. But when Pan’s People came on, these scoffing dads would fall suddenly silent and breath rather heavily as their attention zoomed in on the all-female dance troupe who gyrated their hips to the latest grooves.

Pan’s People consisted of five dancers: Babs Lord, Dee Dee Wilde, Ruth Pearson, Louise Clarke, and Cherry Gillespie. They had formed Pan’s People out of two different TV dance groups: the Beat Girls and Top of the Pops first dance troupe the Go-Jos in 1968. Each of these dancers was exceedingly beautiful and supple and performed, what was for the time, rather risque sets in fashionably arousing outfits. For many males, even those not very interested in music, Pan’s People made Top of the Pops essential viewing.

Pan’s People usually performed their routines to tracks that had charted when the artists (either by being on tour or based over in America) weren’t able to appear on the show. Each week, choreographer Flick Colby had to devise a new routine for the girls to perform. This sometimes led to strange literal interpretations like the time they all danced Gilbert O’Sullivan’s hit “Get Down” to a pack of dogs all because the song had the lyric “I told you once before, And I won’t tell you no more, Get down, Get down, Get down. You’re a bad dog, baby, I don’t want you hanging around.” Sometimes there was no lyric as in this promo made for the show featuring John Barry’s theme music for the Roger Moore and Tony Curtis series The Persuaders.

This little insert film is a strange kind of Ballardian fantasy where gangs of suited-up molls carry out half-remembered rituals that are still tinged with power and meaning. It’s a superbly informative piece of televisual history that captures so much about the culture at the time. It has to be remembered that women wearing trouser suits or dressing like men was outré and still considered shocking. It was a time when casinos and gambling were thought of as dangerous, illicit and deeply exciting. A time when women smoking a cigarillo—or even driving a car on their own—was seen as striking a blow for Women’s Liberation. Nowadays, I guess most young’uns would (sadly) swipe left in search of something far more explicit if one of Pan’s Peoples’ routines appeared on their tablets. “But what do kids know?” as some of those dads asked aloud to no-one, in particular, all those years ago.
 

 
And now, some more choice moments of the fabulous Pan’s People.
 
More fab dance routines from Pan’s People, after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
01.16.2018
10:07 am
|
Ladykillers: Murder ballads and the country women who sang them


 
Country music is my favorite genre to listen to if I want to hear really dark shit. My favorite tunes should probably come with warning labels. These amazing songs sound ridiculously upbeat to the point where they are disturbing as hell. If you can’t stomach true crime podcasts, serial killer interviews or horror films, perhaps relaxing with a drink and a Porter Wagoner album isn’t for you.

Thus we come to my favorite socially unacceptable subgenre: the murder ballad. Being a badass feminist, it IS weird that I love an entire collection of music where the majority of tunes are about men killing women or visiting horrific violence upon them. I can’t help it though. I can’t get enough of these songs.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The country music world has always been male-centric. For every forgotten woman like Rose Maddox, Wilma Lee Cooper or Moonshine Kate, there are ten famous male stars like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, or Merle Haggard. So when I come across my murder ballad-singin’ women, I rejoice!  Bring that gore to the floor, ladies! Country women who sing about murder and violence are extra subversive, especially if they are making that narrative gender-flip of and sing those stories usually sung by men with murder on their minds… 
 

The Coon Creek Girls

The Coon Creek Girls formed in the 1930s and were the first all-women string-band. Their manager, an exploitative jerk named John Lair, went so far as to change the band name from their self-chosen Red River Ramblers to Coon Creek Girls because he “thought it sounded more country.” Apparently he thought the low/working class exoticism of that band name would sell these Appalachian-raised women better at shows. It didn’t. These gals sold themselves!
 

Lily May Ledford of the Coon Creek Girls and her banjo

Banjo player Lily May Ledford recalls:

“What a good time we had on stage… jumping up and down, sometimes ruining some of our songs by laughing at each other. Sis, when carried away by a fast fiddle tune, would let out a yell so high pitched that it sounded like a whistle. Sometimes, when playing at an outdoor event, fair or picnic, we would go barefooted. We were so happy back then. Daisy and Sis, being good fighters, would make short work of anybody in the more polished groups who would tease or torment us. We all made short work of the “wolves” as they were called, who tried to follow us home or get us in their cars.”

Tons of “I drowned my girlfriend/lover/wife” songs exist in the murder ballad canon but “Pretty Polly,” is easily one of the nastiest and most violent. That’s what makes the Coon Creek Girls’ version is especially good. While I quite enjoy the song as sung by The Byrds, it’s not as unique as the all-female arrangement. Great band, great tune. 
 

 
Plenty more after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Ariel Schudson
|
01.15.2018
02:58 pm
|
Two-Fisted Sentences and Hard-Boiled Covers: Mickey Spillane’s pulp fiction
01.15.2018
12:44 pm
Topics:
Tags:

05aspillaneitjury.jpg
‘I, the Jury’ (1947).
 
Mickey Spillane said he was a writer, not an author. “Authors want their name down in history; I want to keep the smoke coming out of the chimney.” During his lifetime, Spillane sold over 200 million books, most featuring his hard-nosed, two-fisted hero Mike Hammer. These books were loved by the public but loathed by the critics. Spillane didn’t care. He wrote for himself and he knew there were plenty of people who wanted to read his stories.

Spillane was at his peak in the 1950s when he would often have six books in the top ten best-seller list. At a party, Spillane met an East-coast critic who decried the writer for polluting the list. Without missing a beat, Spillane replied, “You’re lucky I didn’t write another four.”

Mike Hammer was originally intended as a comic strip hero called Mike Danger. Spillane had written stories for comic books like Captain America, Batman, and Superman before, working alongside a young Stan Lee, who could work on three different stories on three different typewriters all at the same time.

Spillane was also fast. He wrote his first Mike Hammer novel I, the Jury in nineteen days. He wanted the money to buy a house. I, the Jury set the sex and violence template for the rest of the Hammer series which usually featured a dame in trouble and bad men doing bad things. A total of fourteen Mike Hammer books were published during Spillane’s life. Mike Hammer is a brutal, violent hero who lives by his own austere moral code exacting bloody vengeance on those he thinks deserve it. First, it was killers and G-men, then after the dawn of the “Red Scare,” it was the commies. In his third book, One Lonely Night, Hammer ends up killing around forty reds with a machine-gun. It was originally nearer eighty, but the publishers thought that was a bit too much. Throughout his adventures, Hammer was ably supported by his girlfriend Velma. Critics denounced Mike Hammer as “a sadist” and “a homicidal paranoiac.” Spillane said he didn’t give a hoot for what the critics thought, the only thing he cared about was the royalty check. His writing brought strange fans like Ayn Rand, though he didn’t agree with her politics, and some famous detractors like Ernest Hemingway, who famously denounced Spillane in print. Spillane was nonplussed. He quipped “Hemingway, who?” when asked about the Nobel prize winner’s comments on TV.

And then there were all the movies made from his books, most notably Robert Aldrich’s version of Kiss Me Deadly in 1953, which Spillane wasn’t too keen on—he’d rather people read his book. However, Spillane himself played Hammer in an film adaptation of The Girl Hunters in 1963.

Times changed, Mike Hammer and Mickey Spillane fell out of fashion—though Spillane’s star never really dimmed in Europe. It was as if the words spoken by Hammer in One Lonely Night had come true for Spillane:

Isn’t that the way life is? You fight and struggle to get something and suddenly you’re there at the end and there’s nothing left to fight for any longer.

This year marks the centenary of Spillane’s birth and although he wrote many other equally good novels, including two different series (Tiger Mann and Morgan the Raider), and a whole slate of new Spillanes (finished by friend and writer Max Allan Collins) are due for release this year, it will always be for his tough guy Mike Hammer that Mickey Spillane will always be remembered.
 
03aspillanemygunisquick.jpg
‘My Gun is Quick’ (1950).
 
06aspillanevengeanceismine.jpg
‘Vengeance is Mine’ (1950).
 
More Spillane covers, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
01.15.2018
12:44 pm
|
Bond girls are forever: Seductive trading cards featuring 007’s femme fatales


A trading card featuring Swiss actress Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder in 1962’s ‘Dr. No.’
 

“James? Take me ’round the world one more time.”

—Holly Goodhead (played by actress Lois Chiles) in Moonraker, 1979

The cultural phenomenon surrounding fictional British Secret Service agent James Bond started in 1953 when author Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel Casino Royale was published. Over the course of the next 65 years, Fleming’s books and short stories featuring the exploits of James Bond would become blockbuster films which made actors like Sean Connery and Daniel Craig into international stars. As legendary as Bond is, the women 007 found himself entangled with (in more ways than one) are just as legendary.

In 2003 trading card maker Rittenhouse put out a set of Bond trading cards called Bond Girls are Forever. Each pack contained twenty different black and white images of Bond girls along with their character name and another photo on the back. This collection was a companion set to the super groovy lenticular card set Women of James Bond in Motion. Additional cards related to the series saw the light of day in other Bond-themed card sets such as The Quotable James Bond, Dangerous Liaisons, and The Complete James Bond.

Here’s the thing—if you’re into collecting trading cards some of the ones I’ve mentioned in this post can be elusive and expensive once/if you track them down. This is especially true when it comes to the Bond Girls Are Forever set which I’ve seen going for nearly 500 bucks on eBay. In the case of Ursula Andress and her famous white bikini from Dr. No, Andress’ single card can run you more than 70 dollars—or roughly the price of an actual bikini.

A selection of Bond girl trading cards below—some are slightly NSFW.
 

The iconic Grace Jones as May Day from 1985’s ‘A View to a Kill.’
 

Bonita the belly dancer at the El Scorpio night club played by actress Nadja Regin in the pre-title sequence of the 1964 James Bond film ‘Goldfinger.’
 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
01.15.2018
10:49 am
|
There’s a ‘Stranger Things’ ouija board
01.15.2018
10:27 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
I’m a bit late to the game with Stranger Things 2. I just started watching it this past weekend. So far, so good, although I’m not loving it as much as the first season. (I’m only on episode four).

Anyway, here’s a Stranger Things ouija board made by Hasbro and Mystifying Oracle.

Supernatural forces were uncovered, a young boy was rescued from a parallel dimension, and monsters—both human and otherworldly—were defeated. Gather around the Ouija: Stranger Things Edition game, if you dare, and unlock secrets from a mysterious and mystifying world of the Upside Down.

The Stranger Things ouija board is available to purchase on Amazon for $26.85.


 

 

 
via Laughing Squid

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
01.15.2018
10:27 am
|
Vocalist for clown-themed Iron Maiden cover band busted in Japan with 9.8-kilogram drug stash


 
First off, I must admit I had no idea that a clown-themed Iron Maiden cover band even existed. Sadly I was hipped to Vancouver’s Powerclown only after seeing the news about vocalist Dicksee Diànno getting caught trying to smuggle seven-million dollars worth of drugs into Japan, a nation which has maintained a zero-tolerance attitude about drug use and possession for decades.

The story goes like this; Diànno (who also goes by Dan Scum though his real name is Daniel Whitmore) stashed what was estimated to be seven million bucks worth of a “white powder” inside a guitar case. Whitmore was taken into custody by Japanese authorities at Narita International Airport on December 11 saying the illegal substance they seized in the guitar case were of the “stimulant” variety. If you are not aware, drugs have been illegal in Japan pretty much forever, and the penalties for getting pinched possessing illegal substances are HARSH. Getting caught with anything from cocaine to marijuana could get you locked up for ten years. Here’s a statement released via the band’s Facebook page by guitarist Sketchy Klown on the grim situation:

“Flags are flying half-mast at the Powerclown circus tent. I assure you, any frowns we are wearing are real. Painted on or not. All we can do is hope for the best for him. Clownery and parlour tricks, whether by him or us ain’t gonna do no good. Even with his voice, the voice of a songbird, and his velvet-painting-smooth charm, he won’t be able to talk his way out of these hijinks, even if he did speak Japanese.

While none of us clowns condone Dicksee’s actions, or recommend anyone else attempting something this foolish, we do hope for the best for our grease-painted pal. We hope that by some small…make that large…miracle, he somehow manages to slide into his cock-pink pants and dance himself back home to face this different form of music he has created for himself. We love you Dicksee. If you somehow make it back here, and we hope you do, we may even go easy on you. Maybe. No promises.”

Yikes. According to the Vancouver Sun, Whitmore told Japanese customs officials he was headed to Japan to do some “sightseeing.” As they continued to question Whitmore, he allegedly started to sweat like a lot of people do when they are carrying a 9.8-kilogram stash of illegal drugs. Whitmore, who was traveling alone, finally told the customs agents he had been asked to carry the guitar case in question by a Chinese resident of Canada and deliver it to a hotel in Narita City. His bandmates and people close to the singer couldn’t understand why Whitmore would do such a thing given the consequences. Another aspect of this strange and sad case is that on December 9th, two days before Whitmore arrived at the airport in Narita, he posted this cryptic message on his Facebook page:
 

 
You can see a news report that shows footage of what Japanese customs seized here, and it makes things look pretty bad for Mr. Whitmore. A photo of contents of the guitar case follows as well as some live footage of Powerclown performing with Whitmore in 2014.
 

A photo taken by Japanese customs agents of the drug stash in Whitmore’s guitar case.
 

Footage of Powerclown performing live with Whitmore in 2014.

Posted by Cherrybomb
|
01.15.2018
09:52 am
|
‘The Defector’: The disappearance of an Australian Prime Minister
01.12.2018
11:12 am
Topics:
Tags:

01defectorposter.jpg
 
In December 1967, during the height of the Cold War, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared while swimming off Cheviot Beach, near Point Nepean, Victoria. Holt was a strong swimmer, enjoyed scuba-diving and spear-fishing and was in robust health. His disappearance led to one of “the largest search operations in Australian history.” Holt visited the beach with four friends, but only one of the group, Alan Stewart, went into the water with the Prime Minister. While Stewart kept close to the shoreline, Holt swam out into deeper waters. Eyewitnesses recalled seeing Holt swim then drift like “a leaf being taken out” as he was caught by the riptide and pulled towards the dangerous waters of the Heads. Despite the police search, Holt’s body has never been found.

In 1968, the police released a report which made no definitive findings on Holt’s “disappearance.” This led to various conspiracy theories filling the column inches like the suggestion Holt had committed suicide or that he had been assassinated by the CIA as dirty commie-sympathizer or that he was collected by a commie submarine and had defected to China. This last one led to the book The Prime Minister Was A Spy which claimed Holt had been a “sleeper” working for the Chinese since 1929. When Australian Intelligence Services discovered the (alleged) truth about Holt, the Chinese quickly arranged to have the PM taken out of the country.

Eventually, 2005, a coroner’s court returned a verdict of accidental death—but the rumors and theories about Holt’s disappearance did not stop.
 
02defectorhdl.jpg
 
So now comes filmmaker Scott Mannion‘s fictional take The Defector which owes a small bit to some of the theories already mentioned and a big bit of imagination. It’s a well-conceived and beautifully crafted short film which is most likely a calling card to a larger feature. According to Mannion, The Defcetor has already caused quite a storm and has apparently been “banned” in China—read into that what you will.
 
Watch after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
01.12.2018
11:12 am
|
Dames, Dracula, & the devil: The erotic fumetti of Italian artist Alessandro Biffignandi
01.12.2018
10:51 am
Topics:
Tags:


Erotic horror-inspired artwork by Italian artist Alessandro Biffignandi.
 
Italian artist Alessandro Biffignandi passed away in January of 2017 a few short months after an incredible book chronicling his vast body of work was released by Korero Press in June of 2016, Sex and Horror: The Art of Alessandro Biffignandi. You can also thank Korero for the entertaining book which preceded Biffignandi’s, Sex and Horror: The Art of Emanuele Taglietti, another master of the genre and if I understand correctly—and I hope I do—it appears Korero intends to keep publishing other books under their “Sex and Horror” banner. This is all pretty fantastic news if you enjoy the explicit classic sleaze which defines Italian fumetti (or comics) from artists like Biffignandi, Taglietti, Stefano Tamburini and Tanino Liberatore (who created comic series RanXerox praised by director Guillermo del Toro), and Enzo Sciotti.

After developing a love-affair with comic books as a kid, Biffignandi had the good fortune become a student of Averardo Ciriello, a very busy, highly influential Italian artist (with a very dirty mind) who is historically best known for his work creating movie posters (approximately 3,000 over his career) for Italian cinema. After studying with Ciriello, Biffignandi was personally recruited by the largest movie poster production house in Italy (at the time) Studio Favalli run by Augusto Favalli. Sometime in the 1960s, Biffignandi relocated to Milan where he worked for prestigious Studio Creazioni D’Ami which provided artwork to publishers in the UK and France. Biffignandi also found work with another publisher, Edifumetto (who also widely used artwork by Emanuele Taglietti) and his horror-inspired erotica would soon be seen in magazines such as Sukia, Zora, Wallestein il Mostro, and other fumetti-style comics.

Before you start scrolling through the images in this post, I’d like to share a couple of things. First, and I’ll give it to you gently, it seems that Biffignandi had a thing for Disney characters and books as a child and his work is known to reflect this interest at times. So, you know, you just might see your old pal Peter Pan doing things that only a real boy could. Could be worse. Also important to note, especially if you are not familiar with this genre, is Biffignandi’s work is somewhat explicit and pretty much all that follows is very NSFW. YAY!
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
01.12.2018
10:51 am
|
The first major casualty of Trump’s new tax plan: Goth Day at Disneyland
01.12.2018
09:01 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
The administrator of Bats Day in the Fun Park, widely known to many, unofficially, as “Goth Day at Disneyland” recently issued a statement declaring that the event, now in its twentieth year, would no longer be organized, citing rising costs and the extra tax burden caused by Trump’s new tax laws.

According to the Bats Day in the Fun Park press release:

The new tax laws going into effect in 2018 (and impacting every American’s returns when they’re filed in 2019) no longer allow small businesses to deduct anything from their taxes—and Bats Day would also be taxed on any money that comes into the event before anything gets paid out to the event’s vendors. Bats Day already barely breaks even, so adding this set of burdens makes things really tough for us. They force us to raise certain prices and otherwise jeopardize the event’s logistics. On top of this, we’ve been priced out of the hotel we held our events in for the past eight years, reducing our chances to keep this event happening for the community even further.

They did add that goths and deathrockers could still meet up on the scheduled weekend for one last Bats Day blowout—the 20th annual Bats Day in the Fun Park weekend will be held May 5-6, 2018, with an estimated 7,000+ people expected to attend.

Scheduled events include:
- The Bats Day Dark Park™: Concert event with performers to be announced soon.
- The Bats Day Black Market: A spooky shopping experience with over 75 unique vendors.
- The Bats Day in the Fun Park trip to Disneyland, CA: the world-famous event that wraps up the weekend, where attendees are encouraged to participate in as many photo opportunities and meet-up locations as they can, culminating in a “spooktacular Photo Event and Ride Experience through Disneyland’s classic Haunted Mansion attraction.”

Though certain official events are expected to cease due to the new tax laws and rising cost of operations, it is expected that goth meet-ups will continue to take place at Disneyland for years to come.

Trump, try as he might, can’t keep a good goth down.

Posted by Christopher Bickel
|
01.12.2018
09:01 am
|
Page 1 of 2249  1 2 3 >  Last ›