FOLLOW US ON:
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
‘Blast’: Kool Keith remixed by Planet B, featuring a member of the Locust (a music video premiere!)
03.07.2019
09:01 am
Topics:
Tags:


Kool Keith’s ‘Blast’ b/w ‘Uncrushable’ on Three One G

If you’re looking for one of those doctors who has taken the Hippocratic oath, Kool Keith may not be your man. “Fuck it, he’s dead,” Keith’s alter ego, Dr. Octagon, pronounced on his 1996 debut, as his latest patient expired of cirrhosis of the eye and a horse wandered the halls of the hospital. Truth be told, the bedside manner of his alter alter ego, Dr. Dooom, was not very comforting either. Doing harm was pretty much his bag.

But if you’re looking for a barber surgeon of the medieval period, who’ll do you for a bloodletting, a leeching and an enema—a specialist in taking apart who still needs some practice putting back together—no one will slice and dice you like Kool Keith. I think that’s why the line “Do not be bougie with the facelift” on “Blast” chills me to the bone: can you imagine how your face would look after a few hours in the operating room with Kool Keith? Emerging from anesthesia, feeling the new apertures for undiscovered bodily functions with which he’s pimped your head? Looking in the mirror through the eyes of an alligator and a shark? As Keith feeds you sashimi cuts of your own brain?
 

Heather Hunter Photography
 
Speaking of horrors, one of the best performances I have ever seen in my life was Kool Keith’s set at the 2004 Coachella Festival, the only year I attended the Southland’s annual historical reenactment of a dysentery outbreak in a Civil War infirmary. About 20 minutes in, Keith stopped rhyming and started counting: “one. . . two. . . three. . . four. . . five. . .” He counted to, I think, 27 before making an abrupt exit (“Fuck it, Coachella, we out!”—mic drop) that left his nonplussed hype man swaying on the stage, eyes darting anxiously from side to side.

So I’m pleased to introduce the music video below, a short slasher movie dramatizing Planet B’s (i.e., Justin Pearson and Luke Henshaw’s) remix of “Blast” from Kool Keith’s new EP on Three One G. (The record concludes with a mashup of “Uncrushable” and “Church of the Motherfuckers” by Dead Cross, the supergroup with members of Faith No More, Slayer and Retox.) Unless you work in a charnel house, it is NSFW.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
|
03.07.2019
09:01 am
|
A short film on the making of Mark Stewart’s ‘Learning to Cope with Cowardice’ (a DM premiere!)
02.28.2019
01:14 pm
Topics:
Tags:


Mark Stewart and the Maffia live in Kentish Town, 1986 (Photo by Beezer)

Last month, when Mute brought out a double-LP reissue of Mark Stewart’s solo debut from 1983, Learning to Cope with Cowardice, we interviewed the man about the record and its historical, political, and musical context. Now we have a new short film by Charlie Marbles about the making of the album to show you.

If you’ve never heard Learning to Cope with Cowardice, it is a collection of sounds that wraps your nervous system around the spools of a cassette deck, then uses your brain to degauss the tape head and your cerebrospinal fluid to lubricate the capstan: a variegated cut-up of genres, styles, media, times, places, and identities. In the film below, Stewart and producer Adrian Sherwood describe the mixing and editing techniques they used to make this mental work of art, some imported from New York hip-hop and other audio collage forms—Stewart, in particular, credits Teo Macero’s work on On the Corner and William S. Burroughs’ tape experiments as inspiration—and some invented on the spot and probably never yet repeated, such as “scratching” multitrack tapes.

The singer and producer describe Stewart’s desires for unconventional sounds (Sherwood remembers a snare so trebly “it was actually cutting your eyeball off”) and his struggles to get them through the technocracy of the mastering process onto the finished record. Stewart:

I was constantly fighting with engineers about buzzes and hisses and noises, and trying to make helicopter sounds, and then they’d try and change it, they’d try and normalize you. I’m not gonna be fuckin’ normalized!

Learning to Cope with Cowardice plus The Lost Tapes is available on double vinyl (benefiting Mercy Ships) and double CD. Check out Mark Stewart’s new political resistance playlist, too.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
|
02.28.2019
01:14 pm
|
“Rap Sabbath?”: Black Sabbath’s bizarre collaboration with Ice-T in 1995
02.18.2019
11:02 am
Topics:
Tags:


Ice-T and Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi.
 
By the time Black Sabbath took ten days to record their eighteenth record Forbidden, they had parted ways twice with vocalist Ronnie James Dio, as well as another Sabbath vocalist, Tony Martin. Dio would go back to his solo work, and Martin would return to Sabbath for Forbidden. Dio really dodged a bullet as Forbidden would go down in history as one one of the Black Sabbath’s biggest blunders, kind of like Metallica’s Lulu. This is not meant to knock Iommi’s superior riffs or the thunder brought by Bill Ward’s replacement, Cozy Powell, or to be dismissive of the multi-talented Tony Martin who, among other things, can play the fuck out of the bagpipes. Alas the combination of star power and talent does not always result in righteous ear candy.

For many fans, Forbidden falls below the categorization of “For Fans Only” to a spot lower on the rock and roll ruler somewhere around, as Blender magazine called it, “the band’s worst album.” Of course, not everyone hates Forbidden, including Tony Iommi who began the process of remastering the album in early 2018 saying he hoped to release it sometime this year. In all honesty, I do not hate this record and if you think you do, or should, maybe give it another listen. So how was Ice-T enlisted to provide some vocal assistance for the song “Illusion of Power,” which was written by Ice and Tony Martin?

For Forbidden, Sabbath brought in Detroit-born guitarist Ernie C (Ernie Cunnigan) to produce the album. Ernie and Ice-T go way back to high school, where they first met in 1975, and has been playing with Ice in Body Count for nearly three decades. Ernie headed to Par Street Studios in Liverpool to record with Sabbath completing it in just ten days. Here’s more from an interview with Tony Martin and Cozy Powell talking about when they heard Ice-T was going to “rap” on the album:

Tony Martin: We had a phone call basically. He wanted to work with us. Tony went to meet him, they got on well, and from Ice-T, Ernie C was recommended to us as a producer for some of the tracks on the album, so it all started to develop, step by step. And in the end, Ernie ended up producing the whole album, which is quite good. His input really was a “feel”-thing, all the songs were already written by the time he got there. Well, you see, we didn’t know what he was gonna sing…In fact, he didn’t know what we were gonna write, and we didn’t know what he was gonna rap! So it was kind of rap by post if you like. We did the songs in the UK, sent one of them over to him, he rapped on it and sent it back. It turned out quite good.
Cozy Powell: I mean, if it had been a typical rap-thing with us it would have been ridiculous, but what he’s done on the track is actually really good.
Tony Martin: It is different, but that’s the point, it was supposed to be.
Cozy Powell: It was meant to be a guest appearance on one track, nothing more. It’s just a little bit different.
Tony Martin: We had to ask a lot of questions… It’s not something that sort of came up, like, “oh yeah, let’s do that,” we all looked at each other and went: “Are you sure ??” Do we really wanna do this? But it turned out good.
Cozy Powell: I think Ice and Ernie were a lot influenced by Sabbath anyway, so…That was where the connection originally came from, not that we absolutely wanted some rappers on a Sabbath-album..!
Cozy Powell: Goodness only knows…! We’ll probably have Madonna on the next!
Tony Martin: (laughs) NOT!!”

Martin has also been quoted saying that during the process of recording Forbidden, the band seemed to be okay with making what he called a “rap Sabbath” record. Which really makes no sense as Ice’s lyrical contribution to the song is a whopping sixteen seconds long. And he phoned it in from Los Angeles, so there’s that. The song is posted below. You have been warned.
 

“Illusion of Power” featuring vocals by Ice-T.

Posted by Cherrybomb
|
02.18.2019
11:02 am
|
Mark Stewart talks with Dangerous Minds about ‘Learning to Cope with Cowardice’


Illustration from the cover of the ‘Jerusalem’ 12-inch and the ‘Mark Stewart + Maffia’ compilation

Head above the heavens, feet below the hells, the singer Mark Stewart has embodied the international rebel spirit since he fronted the Pop Group as a teenager, giving voice to activist and imaginal concerns shared by punks, Rastas and b-boys. Mark Stewart and the Maffia’s moving, mind-mangling, amazing debut album, 1983’s Learning to Cope with Cowardice, whose sounds still beckon from an unrealized future, will be reissued on CD, vinyl and digital formats tomorrow, supplemented by an extra disc of recently discovered outtakes that differ radically from anything on the finished album. Sales of the double LP edition benefit Mercy Ships, an organization that provides lifesaving surgeries to people in poor and war-torn countries around the world.

I spoke with Mark Stewart last week by transatlantic telephone line. After he expressed his respect for Dangerous Minds, affably breaking my balls about the post in which I outed him as the owner of the face in Discharge’s logo, we talked underground media and mutual aid briefly before settling in for a discussion of his solo debut and the current historical moment. A lightly edited transcript follows.

Mark Stewart: I’m so pleased to be working with Mute again, and Daniel Miller has kind of rejuvenated Mute, and the independents—it’s a pleasure, you know, to work with cool people where something flows, you know? It’s really important for us that there’s those kind of columns in the underground.

Dangerous Minds: Holding it up.

Holding it up.

I wouldn’t have asked you about this, but I interviewed Adrian Sherwood the day after the Brexit vote, so it strikes me as funny that I’m talking to you now, right after the deal failed. Do you have anything to say about the situation?

I think it’s a total distraction. [laughs] I think it’s a complete smokescreen, and I’m very scared what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s like, I was watching something about Goebbels’ control of the media on some history channel, right, and how he learned from Madison Avenue. I’m not taking a position right or left on it, but I think it’s the most bizarre distraction in the last few years, and God knows what’s going on. But, you know, behind the scenes, our health [services]—there’s all sorts of things, all these laws are being passed behind the scenes, but that is the only thing journalists are looking at. Not the only thing, but do you understand what I’m saying? That isn’t a comment against whoever and whatever.

The problem is, in England, and I’m not being rude, is it is so class-ridden, it’s a problem for both sides of the spectrum. I was living in Berlin for a while, and I was talking to a very cool Japanese guy yesterday, who’s translating this friend of mine, Mark Fisher’s, this theorist’s book on capitalist realism. And in Germany, and I think until fairly recently in Japan, skilled laborers were treated with ultimate respect. The unions worked with the entrepreneurs, or the bosses, or whatever, and there was a kind of “synergy,” to use a wanky name, and so the economy was quite strong, and there was a social service system. . . you know, Germany’s quite an interesting model. But here—the craziest thing is, people are speculating, people are making big money out of these sudden changes, they’re spread-betting against these sudden changes of polarity, you know? I was reading, ‘cause I always read all sides of the spectrum, I was reading in a financial thing, suddenly sterling has got very, very strong. You know? And these politicians are being played. Do you know what I mean? They’re being played.

I can sit and talk to a Tory boy, I can sit and talk to whoever. And I’ll listen to people and try and talk to them in their language, and try and understand their point of view, right? ‘Cause being opposed to people, you don’t really get anywhere. But they think they’re doing something for whatever bizarre, medieval idea of nationalism or identity politics or whatever you call it, and there are some—there used to be this thing in England which was called “caring conservatism,” which was quite feudal, it was like how the king of the manor would give the employees some bread. [laughs] Scraps from the table or whatever. But here, the problem is, the working class are envious of the rich, and the rich want to squeeze the working class until it explodes to get every drop of blood out of them. It’s quite a strange system. And the middle ground that you’ve got in Germany, with the, whatever they’re called, Christian Democrats or something; back in the day, when people like Chomsky and everybody used to attack these middle-left kind of parties—you know, I read a lot of theory, but now, that is heaven compared to what’s happening these days! “The center cannot hold.” Everything is just. . . it’s bizarre, you know?
 

Adrian Sherwood and Mark Stewart, London, 1985 (photo by Beezer, courtesy of Mute)
 
But the problem is, again, my personal Facebook is full of loads of cool people who I really respect, so I get utterly impressed when, like, these Italian theorists start talking to me about how this album or our early work inspired people to get into different ideas about the planet. But I’m sick to death of people moaning about these non-events, which could be like—it’s like an orchestrated ballet of distraction. You know, it’s bollocks! “Never mind the bollocks” is never mind the fuckin’—it’s bollocks! And people are constantly talking about it.

And what I would be doing—so many of my American friends are just constantly posting this stuff about Trump, right? And I’m like—sorry, I’ll probably lose a lot of respect for saying this, I’m sorry, but as soon as the polls were looking like that, the guy’s been democratically elected, we’d roll up our sleeves and try and organize for 10 years down the line, if not five years down the line, and try and grow some sense of hope! Spread seeds of hope, culturally, in these small towns. That’s what things like punk are about. You know, with punk, a youth center opened, or a squat opened, and little places changed a bit, you know? Now people are just tutting. Saying “Oh, he’s bad”—so what? You’re bad for not fuckin’ doing anything! Sorry to rant, but there’s this culture, this narcissistic culture of wallowing in defeat. Which is basically another way of saying “I’m not going to do anything, but I’m gonna pretend to have a conscience by tutting.”

Yeah, people are glued to their TV sets and the news constantly, and it makes them feel powerless, and they don’t do anything. I don’t know if it’s a similar thing with Brexit.

I don’t know. I think people make a choice not to care from an early age. I’m not being rude. You can blame this, you can blame something outside of yourself, but as I grow a little bit older and I get more pulled into weird, sort of Taoist sort of things, it’s to do with putting a foot forward and breaking outside of the mold, and if you get hit, you get hit. Or if somebody says you’re a nutter, like they said about us back in the day, you know, or they say you’re wrong, or whatever, at least you stepped forward, outside of the embryonic—do you understand what I’m saying? You have to do provocations. In my sense, it’s kind of art provocations. What I do is, even if I’m not sure about something, I think It’s enough of a curveball to go in that direction, or to spin against my own stupid sense of conditioning: sparks will fly. Let’s go! Let’s do it. Do you know what I mean?

It’s this sitting back—and now you’re getting people kind of reminiscing about the Cold War! Which again was a distraction. It’s just nonsense, you know? People want to live in this nostalgic bubble. And now they’re saying that the fuckin’—a journalist in an English paper was saying that the Cowardice times were more paranoid than now? What the fuck? [laughter] With Cambridge Analytica, we got fuckin’ algorithms—if there was a Night of the Long Knives overnight and somebody got control of the algorithms, thousands of people could just be rounded up for reading Dangerous Minds. Do you understand what I’m saying? And it’s all sold to the highest bidder; there isn’t even any politics involved. It’s naked capitalistic control. But, you know, now I’m moaning like I shouldn’t have done. Daniel Miller had this idea of enabling technologies, and in America, there was always like Mondo 2000 and Electronic Frontier Foundation. So I’m positive as well as being. . . it’s very interesting times. And when there’s change, there’s possibility.

One of the main reasons I wanted to interview you about this record is that “Jerusalem” is one of my favorite recordings.

This one, or another one? My one, or somebody else’s?

No, your “Jerusalem” is one of my favorite records. Part of it is, there’s the Blake poem, which has all this revolutionary, visionary significance, but then there’s so much layered on top of it—all this patriotic meaning, and it’s in the hymnal, and I don’t know if you know that story about Throbbing Gristle playing at the boys’ school and the boys singing them offstage with “And did those feet in ancient time”—

No.

—so I wonder if you could tell me about what that song means to you, and whether you were trying to recover some of the William Blake in that song.

Well, it’s a long, long, long story, and a lot of it’s got to do with an ancient tradition of kind of English, kind of Celtic mysticism, which is—I’m gonna sound like David Tibet now or something—but I’m a Stewart, right? And our family history is linked to this other family called the Sinclairs. My father died a couple of weeks ago, and he was a real, to use the word nicely, occultist. He was a Templar, and he taught remote viewing. But for me, I feel, growing up near Glastonbury—this might sound very, very hippie, this, but it’s the kind of mysticism of Blake that I really liked, right? There was a review in the Wire, when the record first came out, back in the day, and they said me and Adrian, it was a perfect alchemical marriage, or something. If you can be kinda hopefully mystical at the same time as being hopefully an activist, there’s an uplifting sense of that tune in specific.
 

Mark Stewart and the Maffia’s first performance, CND rally in Trafalgar Square, 1980 (courtesy of Freaks R Us)
 
What happened was that the last ever Pop Group concert and the first ever Maffia concert were on the same day. Basically, I’d got sick to death of music, I’d kinda packed it all in, I thought we weren’t ever gonna get anywhere with it, and I was just bored of it, right? And I became a volunteer in the office of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in London, in Poland Street, right? And one day in the office, Monsignor Bruce Kent, who was in charge of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament at the time, we were organizing what turned out to be the biggest postwar demonstration against nuclear weapons, and the center of London was brought to a standstill by 500,000 people. People came from far and wide, from Scotland, from everywhere. And he turned round and said, “It might be good to have some music,” ‘cause, you know, Tony Benn and all these amazing people were speaking, and I said, “Oh, I’ve got a band!” And I said, “I can ask some of my mates.” So I asked the Specials and Killing Joke; Specials couldn’t do it, but Killing Joke did it, and we ended up playing between the lions in Trafalgar Square. My brother and loads of my weird artist mates did this huge kind of amazing mural of this baby coming out of this atom bomb.

Basically, I was thinking to myself, What would be a classic rallying song, that people young and old—you know, ‘cause very few people would have known about the Pop Group in this demonstration—young and old, like Woody Guthrie, or Pete Seeger, or something like “We Shall Overcome,” what would be good for England? And immediately I thought of “Jerusalem.” And the Pop Group was going all sort of free-jazzy and out there and stuff, where I couldn’t get it together with the Pop Group. I was already hanging out with Adrian and starting to make some sort of reggaeish stuff, so the first version of the Maffia got up and played “Jerusalem” and a few other songs a few hours later in the day, ‘cause people sing it on marches and stuff in England.

So that was the reason for the “Jerusalem” thing. And that moment, that moment in the middle of London, you know, it was the proudest day of my life, to actually be involved in—I’m just trying to organize something just now, just before you phoned, to try and kick off a big sort of demo this year, because that’s what gets me going! It’s like when we used to do Rock Against Racism; we did stuff for Scrap SUS, when they used to just stop black kids on sight and search them, the police; Anti-Fascist League, you know, and now we’re doing this stuff for these Mercy Ships people, who build these boats—they do up these old kind of trawlers and park them out in international waters, outside war zones, and make them into little floating hospitals and operate on kids and stuff. That’s what the money from the limited vinyl’s going towards. But it’s just like—when it’s a benefit, you can get other cool bands. There’s a band here called Fat White Family and all these offshoots of them, Black MIDI or something, there’s these conscious young bands who are mates of mates, and I know in a couple of phone calls I can get an amazing bill together, and the people around me aren’t gonna ask for so much money, they’re more likely to answer the call, you know? And people remember those events for years to come.

Well, I remember you said something in an interview years ago, “The political and the mystical go hand in hand.”

[laughs] I always say the same bollocks! You’ve caught me out!

Much, much more after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
01.24.2019
10:36 am
|
Dr. Octagon: Time-traveling killer gynecologist of underground hip-hop returns with ‘Flying Waterbed
03.30.2018
01:39 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
WARNING: Extremely catchy earwig ahead.

For the first time since 1996, the trio behind Dr. Octagonecologyst the classic and influential Kool Keith solo album have joined forces again. Dr. Octagon, a three-member group—Dan the Automator (Handsome Boy Modeling School, Deltron 3030, Gorillaz), DJ Qbert (Invisibl Skratch Piklz) and Keith—are back with their first video “Flying Waterbed” from the upcoming album Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripulation which is due out on April 6th via Dan the Automator’s Bulk Recordings. (Stream it now via NPR First Listen.)

“Flying Waterbed” shows that they were ready to pick right up where they left off, offering up an insanely catchy song with all of the silly, surreal wordplay Kool Keith is known for, with Qbert’s nearly superhuman technical skills and Dan Nakamura’s synthy sonics and production chops ably backing him up. The video wasn’t halfway over before I was thinking to myself “This song is going to be playing over and over in my head all weekend.”

The Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripulation album will be released April 6th digitally and on CD and double LP. All physical versions of the album include an exclusive 12th track “Aviator Hype.” The official artist store will be carrying a special limited edition version of the double LP, with only 1,000 copies printed worldwide on blood splattered vinyl and alternate gatefold album art.
 

 
Watch it, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Richard Metzger
|
03.30.2018
01:39 pm
|
‘Behind the Seen’: Chuck D of Public Enemy holds his first solo art exhibition
03.29.2018
08:45 am
Topics:
Tags:


Chuck D of Public Enemy.
 

Music and art and culture is escapism, and escapism sometimes is healthy for people to get away from reality. The problem is when they stay there.

—Chuck D of Public Enemy in 2004.

Today my post celebrates two things I love—art and Public Enemy’s Chuck D. More specifically, it features artwork by Chuck D that features his renderings of hip-hop royalty like Run-DMC and Ice-T.

Born Carlton Douglas Ridenhour in Queens, New York, Chuck D has been using his voice to express his views on everything from inequality and police brutality to civil rights, and once referred to rap music as “CNN for black people.” I have been a huge fan of PE for the last 30 years, but it somehow slipped past me Chuck D was once an aspiring art student. After high school, he attended Adelphi University in Long Island where he obtained his B.F.A. in Graphic Design and hooked up with another Adelphi student, William Drayton—the future Flavor Flav who he would form Public Enemy with. While he was honing his hip-hop skills, he designed party fliers for another associate of PE, sound innovator Hank Shocklee (The Bomb Squad). Fairly recently, Chuck revisited his love of art while on tour, and the results became a part of his very first solo exhibition Behind the Seen, currently on display at 30 South in Pasadena, California through April 8th.

I’ve posted some of Chuck’s art below, many of which are available for purchase, here.
 

“Lord of the Wheels.”
 

“Whodini, Funky Beat” an homage to Brooklyn, New York-based hip-hop trio Whodini.
 

“Iceberg OG Syndicate.” This piece by Chuck D gives is a nod to the hip-hop collective started by Ice-T, Rhyme Syndicate.
 

A portrait of Hank Shocklee by Chuck D.
 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
03.29.2018
08:45 am
|
‘Bare-ass naked’: The KLF and the live stage production of Robert Anton Wilson’s ‘Illuminatus!’


Prunella Gee as Eris in ‘Illuminatus!’ (via Liverpool Confidential)

In 1976, the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool mounted a 12-hour stage production of Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus! Trilogy. It was a fateful event in the life of the show’s set designer, Bill Drummond, for reasons he’s detailed in the Guardian: for one thing, it was in connection with Illuminatus! and its director, Ken Campbell, that Drummond first heard about the eternal conflict between the Illuminati, who may secretly control the world, and the Justified Ancients of Mummu, or the JAMs, who may be agents of chaos disrupting the Illuminati’s plans. (Recall that in Illuminatus!, the MC5 record “Kick Out The Jams” at the behest of the Illuminati, as a way of taunting the Justified Ancients—or so John Dillinger says.)

Before they were known as the KLF, Drummond and Jimmy Cauty called themselves the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, appropriating the name for the eschaton-immanentizing hip-hop outfit they started in 1987. Over the next few years, they seized the pop charts and filled the airwaves with disorienting, Discordian hits, until a day came when you could flip on the TV and find Tammy Wynette singing “Stand By The JAMs,” or Martin Sheen narrating the KLF’s reenactment of the end of The Wicker Man.
 

Bill Drummond in Big in Japan, live at Eric’s (via @FromEricsToEvol)
 
After the Liverpool run of Illuminatus!, Drummond rebuilt his sets for the London production, but he suddenly bailed on the show, walking out hours before it was to open. I guess he missed the nude cameo appearance Robert Anton Wilson describes in Cosmic Trigger, Volume I:

On November 23, 1976—a sacred Discordian holy day, both because of the 23 and because it is Harpo Marx’s birthday—a most ingenious young Englishman named Ken Campbell premiered a ten-hour adaptation of Illuminatus at the Science-Fiction Theatre of Liverpool. It was something of a success (the Guardian reviewed it three times, each reviewer being wildly enthusiastic) and Campbell and his partner, actor Chris Langham, were invited to present it as the first production of the new Cottesloe extension of the National Theatre, under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen.

This seemed to me the greatest Discordian joke ever, since Illuminatus, as I may not have mentioned before, is the most overtly anarchistic novel of this century. Shea and I quite seriously defined our purpose, when writing it, as trying to do to the State what Voltaire did to the Church—to reduce it to an object of contempt among all educated people. Ken Campbell’s adaptation was totally faithful to this nihilistic spirit and contained long unexpurgated speeches from the novel explaining at sometimes tedious length just why everything government does is always done wrong. The audiences didn’t mind this pedantic lecturing because it was well integrated into a kaleidoscope of humor, suspense, and plenty of sex (more simulated blow jobs than any drama in history, I believe). The thought of having this totally subversive ritual staged under the patronage of H.M. the Queen, Elizabeth II, was nectar and ambrosia to me.

The National Theatre flew Shea and me over to London for the premiere and I fell in love with the whole cast, especially Prunella Gee, who emphatically has my vote for Sexiest Actress since Marilyn Monroe. Some of us did a lot of drinking and hash-smoking together, and the cast told me a lot of synchronicities connected with the production. Five actors were injured during the Liverpool run, to fulfill the Law of Fives. Hitler had lived in Liverpool for five months when he was 23 years old. The section of Liverpool in which the play opened, indeed the very street, is described in a dream of Carl Jung’s recorded on page 23 of Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections. The theatre in Liverpool opened the day Jung died. There is a yellow submarine in Illuminatus, and the Beatles first sang “Yellow Submarine” in that same Liverpool Theatre. The actor playing Padre Pederastia in the Black Mass scene had met Aleister Crowley on a train once.

The cast dared me to do a walk-on role during the National Theatre run. I agreed and became an extra in the Black Mass, where I was upstaged by the goat, who kept sneezing. Nonetheless, there I was, bare-ass naked, chanting “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” under the patronage of Elizabeth II, Queen of England, and I will never stop wondering how much of that was programmed by Crowley before I was even born.

 

Robert Anton Wilson (via John Higgs)
 
In 2017, 23 years after they split up, Drummond and Cauty reunited as the JAMs. Instead of a new chart-burning house record, they released their first novel…

More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
02.27.2018
10:08 am
|
Big Boi’s charming obsession with Kate Bush
12.13.2017
12:07 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
It’s no surprise to hear that a top hip-hop musician has eclectic musical tastes—in many cases it’s part and parcel of what enables such a person to ascend to such heights. And yet some instances of fanboy fandom stick out, such as the nearly obsessive adoration for the music of Kate Bush on the part of Antwan André “Big Boi” Patton of OutKast. He’s been talking about Kate Bush for years.

OutKast’s status as a legendary hip-hop act stems from the release of their third album Stankonia in 2000, which featured “B.O.B.” and “Ms. Jackson.” (The global hit “Hey Ya!” wouldn’t happen until 2003.) It was Stankonia that prompted SPIN to give the act a cover in March 2001. In that story, reported by Sacha Jenkins, Big Boi attested to his love of Kate Bush:
 

Everybody samples, but there’s a lot of not so creative sampling out there. When we sample, we sample for sounds, not for the structure of the whole damn song. It’s about being creative. With us, we listen to everything: Gil Scott-Heron, Minnie Riperton, James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, Kate Bush—I go deep into her music.

 
While it was the young Antwan Patton’s grandmother who instilled in the young lad a love of music, it was an uncle who tipped him to Kate Bush. As he told the Los Angeles Times in 2010, “[She] became my favorite artist of all time. Her and Bob Marley would tie for first. I used to listen to ‘The Kick Inside’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘This Woman’s Work’ and just admiring the style of music she was making, from the production side of it to the lyrics,” he said. “It was kind of mind-blowing. I was like OK, I wanted to be like her. My thing was if [the music] was jamming, if it felt good [I liked it].”
 

 
In a 2004 profile of the band in the pages of The Guardian in the U.K., Big Boi was in the middle of a similar spiel when his cellphone sprang to life, revealing Boi’s chosen ringtone to be a well-known Kate Bush single from 1980: “‘I consider me and Dre to be funkateers, man. Growing up, we listened to everything and I think that gives us the ability to make a free-flowing type of music. It doesn’t matter whether it’s country, reggae or rock and roll. Kate Bush is my favourite artist of all time.’ As if on cue, his mobile starts to ring, trilling out a rendition of ‘Babooshka.’”
 
It’s become something of a quest of Big Boi’s to collaborate musically with Bush, as he told British GQ in 2010, but he’s been somewhat stymied by the fact that it’s very difficult to make contact with her: “I’ve been trying for some years now. She’s like a kinda recluse. She lives somewhere in a castle around here and plays some sort of oversized piano like the Phantom of the Opera! You can hear music come out the windows! I’m looking for her, know what I’m saying? That’s my dream collaboration for sure.”

Big Boi also appeared in Running Up That Hill the BBC documentary on Bush that came out in 2015. Earlier this year Big Boi experienced a breakthrough of sorts when he managed to meet with his hero for dinner. On May 11 Boi was in London and taped an appearance on Mistajam’s program on BBC Radio 1. During the program he indicated that he had gotten in touch with Bush and learned that she was still in a bit of a hiatus: “I think her son’s going off to school so she’s taking a little break.” Boi expressed optimism about working with her someday even if it is not his very next project. He used the radio’s airwaves to reach out to Bush, saying, “Kate, if you’re out there baby, I’m in town this Saturday. Let’s go see King Arthur or something together, ya feel me?” You can hear the full plea below:
 


 
Lo and behold, the next day Big Boi’s Twitter feed featured a signed photo of a Before the Dawn, the 2016 “presented by the KT Fellowship”—the album is credited as a Kate Bush release in Discogs—with the text “Just Had Dinner with Kate Bush! mind-blowing”:
 
Continues after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
12.13.2017
12:07 pm
|
Cat scratch fever: Yes, there is a DJ turntable so that cats can ‘scratch’
05.03.2017
11:02 am
Topics:
Tags:


All that scratchin’ is making me itch!

Anyone can become DJ nowadays. All you need is two turntables, a mixer, and a stack of club music singles (or a USB stick). Today it was announced that actor Vin Diesel was working on his career in EDM, so clearly anyone can do it. Even a puddycat.

Thanks to the internet’s love of anthropomorphic puns and a general lacking of musicianship elsewhere in the animal kingdom, now your feline friend can become the next Grandmaster Flash with this cat scratching DJ deck from the fine folks at Suck UK. Modeled after the Technics 1200, the weapon-of-choice among many vinyl DJs, the cardboard kit features a spinning, “scratchable” deck and moveable tone arm. In no time whatsoever, your kitty will be scratching, scrubbing, tearing, and scribbling like your own fuzzy lil’ DJ Jazzy Jeff.
 

 

 
The set is on sale right now for $24 on Amazon. If your cat is more of a bedroom house producer, they also carry a laptop scratch pad with a customizable desktop background.
 

 

Posted by Bennett Kogon
|
05.03.2017
11:02 am
|
‘How you like me now?’: Charlie Brown & the Peanuts gang quote Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop & more


Peanuts characters ‘Peppermint Patty’ and ‘Charlie Brown’ riffing on lyrics from ‘Protect Ya Neck’ by the Wu-Tang Clan. Painting by artist Mark Drew.
 
I’m a huge fan of artist Mark Drew—especially his “Tape Stack” paintings which can be found on greeting cards. I grab a few whenever I’m lucky enough to come across them.

In 2013 Drew created gallery-sized paintings based on one of his many zines. The zine in question featured images of the gang from Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic mashed up with lyrics derived from 80s and 90s hip-hop. So instead of good old Charlie Brown uttering his famous phrase “good grief,” we get finally get to see Chuck slaying his nemesis Lucy with a line from “Let Me Ride” by Dr. Dre: “Fuck around n’ get caught up in a one-eight-seven.” Which seems about right given the fact that Lucy probably deserves to get a cap in her ass for all those times she denied poor Charlie the pleasure of kicking that goddamned football.

When Drew debuted the paintings at the China Heights gallery in Sydney, Australia he called the show “Deez Nuts” in tribute to the moniker adopted by failed 2016 presidential candidate high school student Brady C. Olson. Images of Charlie Brown and his homies Snoopy, Linus, Peppermint Patty quoting their favorite hip-hop lyrics follow.
 

Peanut’s character and notable meanie Lucy reciting a lyric from Public Enemy’s 1988 jam, “Louder than a Bomb” in a painting by artist Mark Drew.
 

Quote derived from the 1992 song by Dr. Dre, “Let Me Ride.”
 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
02.06.2017
08:49 am
|
Page 1 of 24  1 2 3 >  Last ›