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‘Hope for Happiness’: The Soft Machine live in Paris, 1967
02.06.2019
08:08 am
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The Soft Machine line-up was always kinda fluid but didn’t fully set until Kevin Ayers (bass, vocals) joined Robert Wyatt (drums, vocals), Daevid Allen (guitar), and Mike Ratledge (organ) sometime in the summer of 1966. Wyatt and Allen had played together in the Daevid Allen Trio in 1963, before Wyatt, Ayers, Ratledge and Hugh Hopper formed the Wilde Flowers which would later include members of Caravan.

The Soft Machine (always the Soft Machine until 1970) took their name from the book by William Burroughs. Allen had stayed at the “Beat Hotel” in Paris when Burroughs, Ginsberg, Gysin, and co. were in residency. He had been “the friendly straight with those guys.” He took drugs, made music (composing the soundtrack for a short film version of Burroughs’ novel The Ticket That Exploded), and soaked up the free-wheeling bohemian lifestyle. By the time he hooked-up with Wyatt, Ratledge and Ayers, Allen was a seasoned musician, poet, beatnik, and proto-hippie traveler.

Ayers arrived in England from Malaya at the age of twelve to attend “any school that would have me.” This turned out to be a high school in Canterbury called the Simon Langton Grammar, where he met Wyatt and Ratledge. Wyatt was into a range of music from jazz to classical, while Ratledge starting to experiment with tape loops. This potent mix of music and experimentation found its full expression in the Soft Machine.
 
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The Soft Machine as a four-piece with Daevid Allen.
 
The band moved through various lineups before settling on the foursome of Allen, Ayers, Wyatt, and Ratledge. The band were resident at the legendary underground club UFO alongside house band Pink Floyd. There was a rivalry between the two until the Floyd trumped their opposition with the pop single “Arnold Layne.” The Softs were never as commercial (though they did release what is arguably the first psychedelic single “Love Makes Sweet Music” in February 1967) as they preferred live improvisation and experimental sounds. Theirs was truly the music of the underground and a sound that would see them rightly hailed as “one of the more influential bands of their era, and certainly one of the most influential underground ones.”

According to Allen, the Softs first gig as a quartet was at the launch party for IT (the International Times) which quickly turned into a happening when Yoko Ono joined the band on stage and encouraged the audience “to touch each other in the dark.” A motorcycle was brought onto the stage and a microphone placed against the cylinder for “a good noise.” According to IT publisher Barry Miles in his memoir In the Sixties:

They also gave young women rides around the outer rim [of the venue] the Roundhouse on [the bike], bumping through the dirt and debris, raising clouds of dust.

The Softs were under Chas Chandler’s management, ex-bass player with the Animals who was also manager to Jimi Hendrix. Through Chandler, the Softs toured Europe and as support to Hendrix in America. However, after a tour of France, Allen was refused re-entry into England as he had an Australian passport and no visa. Allen quit the band, returned to Paris and set about forming the prog rock Gong. After recording and releasing their brilliant and seminal eponymous-titled debut album in 1968, Ayers quit the band to pursue a solo career. That was almost the end of the Softs, but due to contractual reasons Wyatt, Ratledge and Hugh Hopper reformed the band to release Volume Two in 1969. Since then, Soft Machine has continued under different line-ups (though lacking its original members) right up to the present day.

In October 1967, Ayers, Wyatt, and Ratledge were filmed performing “A Certain Kind,” “Save Yourself,” “Priscilla,” “Lullabye Letter,” and “Hope For Happiness” for the French TV show Ce Soir On Danse, which was broadcast in August 1968.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.06.2019
08:08 am
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Lux Interior: Ten years gone, but his bones keep rockin’! Unheard 1981 interview!
02.05.2019
12:29 pm
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Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the passing of Lux Interior, the great frontman of The Cramps, one of the most influential bands of the last 40+ years. Lux lived up to all expectations and truly walked it like he talked it in such a way that he just might be in a group of one. As has been written by myself and a great many others, this band created a style. Not just music, but in every area of life from film subcultures to sexual freedom and just about everything in between, whether they planned to or not. And it’s showing no signs of stopping.

As we learn over and over again, with the Cramps, when we think there’s nothing left to find, something always pops up! Yesterday on the actual anniversary of Lux’s passing, this rare, very early unheard 1981 interview from radio station KALX appeared! This is an early (and interesting) interview as it was done right when guitarist Kid Congo Powers (who is still going strong and making incredible records) joined the band. So let’s transport ourselves 38 years back in time and listen to the beginning of a journey. Who can conceive of a band like this happening now??
 
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And to quote that 50s rockabilly song, “Rockin’ Bones,” made popular in the punk era by The Cramps:
 

I wanna leave a happy memory when I go
I wanna leave something to let the whole world know
That the rock in roll daddy has a done passed on
But my bones will keep a-rockin’ long after I’ve gone
Roll on, rock on, raw bones
Well, there’s still a lot of rhythm in these
Rockin’ bones
Well, when I die don’t you bury me at all
Just nail my bones up on the wall
Beneath these bones let these words be seen
This is the bloody gears of a boppin’ machine
Roll on, rock on, raw bones
Well, there’s still a lot of rhythm in these
Rockin’ bones

 

Posted by Howie Pyro
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02.05.2019
12:29 pm
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Rare behind-the-scenes photos of Alex Cox’s gritty f*ck Reagan masterpiece ‘Repo Man’
02.05.2019
09:21 am
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Emilio Estevez on the set of ‘Repo Man.’
 
Alex Cox was thirty-years-old when he took on the task of directing his first feature-length film, 1984’s Repo Man. It’s a film which seems to perfectly encapsulate gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s apocalyptic quote “Too weird to live, and too rare to die” as it nears its 35th anniversary this March.

Unlike what the ravages of the aging process does to most of us mortal types, Cox’s film endured and remains as defiantly DIY as does its equally angry soundtrack, containing venomous jams from the Circle Jerks, Iggy Pop, and Suicidal Tendencies. However, Cox faced an uphill battle while trying to shop Repo Man around because nobody outside of actor and writer Dick Rude understood what the fuck the film was supposed to be about. Rude had approached Cox with his short story Leather Rubbernecks, hoping to make it into a short film but ultimately Leather Rubbernecks would become a part of Repo Man, as did Rude in his role of sushi chew and screwer Duke in the movie. At some point, the Repo Man script would end up in the hands of former Monkee and visionary in his own right, Michael Nesmith. According to folklore, Papa Nez was instantly impressed and stepped into the role of Executive Producer for the film because, as we all know, Papa Nez gets it and helped Cox (a former repo man in real life) bring Repo Man to the big screen.

Wild stories surrounding this timeless film have been discussed and dissected by writers, film historians, and scholars since its release. A few weeks ago I cracked open my copy of Criterion’s impeccable 2013 release of the film and rewatched it in all of its pissed-off glory. Of the film’s vast merits, which are too numerous to lay out in this post (all of the repo men are named after domestic beer brands, and so on, and on), let’s focus on what many consider to be Harry Dean Stanton’s best acting performance as unhinged repo man Bud (a play on the gross suds known as Budweiser).

Stanton was 58 when he took on the role of Bud (which almost went to Dennis Hopper) and had long since established his alpha hangdog status in Hollywood starring in films with elite actors like Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, and Donald Sutherland. Stanton didn’t waste any time letting everyone know, especially Alex Cox, what he was and was not going to do during filming. Within a few days, he was already refusing to learn his dialog for the film. Stanton supported his decision by citing actor Warren Oates who Stanton claimed read his lines off of cards stuck to a car dashboard while filming 1971’s Two-Lane Backdrop. All of Stanton’s complaints finally set Cox off and the director began to think it might be easier to cut their losses by writing Stanton out of any future scenes. With Nesmith’s support he shut down Cox’s quest to make Bud disappear and eventually, Stanton delivered his lines without skipping a beat. But that didn’t mean Stanton suddenly became some sort of fucking choir-boy after almost getting ghosted by Cox. And this time his bad-boy behavior involved baseball bats.
 

Stanton and his trusty baseball bat.
 
For a scene involving Otto (played by a 22-year-old Emilio Estevez), Stanton pitched the idea of using a modified baseball hand signal used in a scene to tell Otto where to park a car. Cox said no, and Stanton went off telling Cox that other “great” directors he had worked with like Francis Ford Coppola let him do “whatever the fuck he wanted.” Later in a scene where Stanton was to act aggressively with a baseball bat at competing repo dudes the Rodriguez brothers, Stanton requested he be able to use a real baseball bat claiming he could do the scene in one take. The film’s cinematographer, Robby Müller, didn’t get behind the idea of arming Stanton with a baseball bat for the scene and was afraid the combination of an unruly Harry Dean Stanton and a baseball bat equaled bad times for someone’s head or worse. When Stanton was told he would have to switch out his Louisville slugger for a plastic version he went batshit and allegedly screamed the following in response:

“Harry Dean Stanton only uses REAL baseball bats!”

The quote “Harry Dean Stanton only uses REAL baseball bats!” is on par with Dennis Hopper’s terrifying endorsement in Blue Velvet for Pabst Blue Ribbon and it’s regretful at best that no footage of Stanton screaming these words seems to exists. In closing, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of the Criterion release of Repo Man as, in addition to a fantastic booklet full of illustrations by Cox and Mondo artists Jay Shaw and Tyler Stout. I’ve included all kinds of cool visual artifacts from Repo Man below including rare photos taken on the set, vintage German and Japanese lobby cards and posters, and some of the gritty neon artwork from the Criterion release.
 

Michael Nesmith and Harry Dean Stanton on the set of ‘Repo Man.’
 

A candid shot on the set of ‘Repo Man’ of Emilio Estevez, his father Martin Sheen, Harry Dean Stanton and Alex Cox.
 

Estevez, Stanton, and Cox.
 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.05.2019
09:21 am
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Undressed to Kill: KISS’s X-rated ‘S & M’ photoshoot, 1975
02.04.2019
09:35 am
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One of the tamer shots taken of KISS and model Megan McCracken during the “S & M Session” in New York in 1975 by Fin Costello.
 
The early days of KISS were all about pushing boundaries and, let’s face it, the list of things KISS was not willing to do back in the day is pretty short and likely begins and ends with their refusal to take off their makeup for their first industry gig in New York on New Year’s Eve, 1973. The things they were willing to do became instant benchmarks for other rock and metal bands and, of course, everything from their stage shows and costumes would revolutionize how rock was supposed to look. So how does KISS follow up their infamous drunken orgy shot with Norman Seeff? They do another photo session much like it with Fin Costello and a model named Megan McCracken.

Called the “S & M Session,” Costello, who had shot the band on many occasions, traveled to New York on August 23, 1975, to again photograph the band. Megan McCracken was living with KISS manager Bill Aucoin at the time—although her participation in the shoot has been noted to be a “last-minute” kind of thing. McCracken wore strange satin overall shorts and nothing else and, during several shots, is completely nude. Props for the shoot include a cat o’ nine tails, assorted bondage gear, and fake blood—you know, just a regular day for Ace, Gene, Peter, and Paul in 1975. According to at least one KISS fan, t-shirts with Costello’s X-rated images were a thing, as well as iron-on transfers. And while I’ve never had any luck tracking one down, I believe they existed based on the stuff I saw with my own eyes during the same period when I was a kid. Porn star Marilyn Chambers had one of her own back in 1973, and I know she wasn’t the only naked lady to become an adult-oriented iron-on transfer—this is a fact. Those were good times. 

Photos from Costello’s NSFW S & M shoot with KISS follow.
 

 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.04.2019
09:35 am
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Cosey Fanni Tutti talks with Dangerous Minds about her first solo album since 1983
01.31.2019
08:20 am
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Photo by Chris Carter

Next week, Cosey Fanni Tutti—visual and performance artist, author of Art Sex Music, member of Throbbing Gristle, COUM Transmissions, Chris & Cosey, Carter Tutti, and Carter Tutti Void—will release her first solo album since 1983’s Time to Tell. The erotic undertow and ghostly foreboding of the music on the new LP, Tutti, which originated as the soundtrack to the autobiographical film Harmonic COUMaction, take me to a wonderful place. Cosey kindly spoke with Dangerous Minds by phone on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

What are the sources that you used for this album? How did you record it? The press materials say that it’s mostly based on source material from throughout your life.

Yeah, that’s right. All the audio sources for the album were taken from recordings throughout my life, whether they were audio voices, phone calls, anything like that, which we’ve always recorded and I’ve always recorded for a long, long time now. And because the original music for Tutti was done as a soundtrack for a film that was based on images throughout my life, that’s why I used the audio for the same thing, so they both married up, and they represented me, basically. Yeah, and then I manipulated it all, so that’s where it all came from.

That’s so interesting, because the only vocals I recognized are on the song “Heliy.”

Yeah, I was singing live.

Can you identify any of the people whose voices appear on the album in different form?

No. [laughter] I can but I won’t. It’s people that literally have been in my life, and it’s not so much about recognizing their voice so much as. . . it’s just the essence of everything that contributed to making me who I am, and it was like that with the visuals and with the audio.

Is this the Harmonic COUMaction movie? Can you describe it for me?

Well, it’s like I said, they’re still images taken right from my birth, it begins with—to put it in context, when I was asked to do something for the Hull City of Culture, which, Hull is where I was born and where COUM really started, began there, and I was asked to do something there and put together a COUM Transmissions exhibition, retrospective. So I was working with all that material, and then I was asked to do a live performance, and at the same time I was doing my autobiography, so everything kind of came in right at the correct moment for me, so one thing fed the other. And I decided to do a film, like I said, of visuals that represented who I was from the town where I was born, where the exhibition and the City of Culture was taking place, and that’s when I put all the audio together for it as well.

In the film, there’s images of me, there’s my parents when I was born, my sister, where I lived, so there’s geographical references as well as personal references to people. And I did it so they’re all morphing into one another, a kind of visual representation of me being formed, basically. So everything is, like, running and melting from day one, and people turn into other people, into buildings, into—even my pet dog Tremble is in there. Everything is there that was really important to me throughout my life and recorded, and it all just becomes transformed into me, as this metamorphosis of who you are and what formed you. So the visuals are like that, and there’s like things collapsing in and then reforming into something else. That’s how I visually decided to present how I felt about my life.

It sounds like a representation of your “art is life, life is art” philosophy.

Well, yes, it’s all there. It is, actually; that’s what it is, you get the impression, then. That’s where my work is based and continues to be based, is how I traverse this planet, basically, and how it affects me and how the people I come into contact with affect me, and all the forces at play: emotional, physical, geographical. It’s important, ‘cause that’s how we all are, to be honest.
 

 
Can you tell me a little about that event? Was there any kind of a COUM reunion? I don’t know who’s still around from that period.

Yeah, it was quite sad, actually, because we’ve lost some people along the way, like everybody has. For the exhibition, I did a new piece as well, which was called “COUM Talks,” and it was basically talking heads of seven original members of COUM. And we lost one of those after I interviewed him. All these people, I had filmed, with just a few questions about COUM—when they joined, when they left, what it meant to them, any particular part of COUM that stood out to them as a memory—and then after that they could talk about what they wanted, really. So I had these seven screens in the exhibition room, and each person was reflecting on COUM and what it meant to them and their little memories, it was really interesting.

And Tim Poston, one of the first founding members of COUM, as well, was the one that sadly passed away. But it’s quite serendipitous, really, ‘cause when I was putting this together, he’d got in touch with me before I got in touch with him [laughs], and he was working in India at the time. You should look him up, he’s an incredible person. When I met him, he was telling me about figuring out how to get ultrasound to work to help irrigate arid areas and things like that. He’d also done research and provided a really cheap way of testing eyesight in India, in the villages there, so people could get treatment, that kind of thing. He was an incredible person. He got in touch with me, and I told him about what was going on, and he happened to have a brother who lived in the same area of the UK as me, and he was going to visit him. So we met up, and I said, “Do you want to do this interview for the exhibition?” And we met up and filmed him, had a lovely time together, and then about six months later he passed away. It was really sad. But then again, I think it’s quite wonderful that he was recorded. His piece, in particular, people absolutely adore, because he has a very. . . peaceful demeanor. He looks like Gandalf, for a start [laughs], so you get some idea. And he has this beautiful staff that he’s always carried around with him, so he’s been Gandalf before. . . maybe he took it from Gandalf. So we met him here, and had a wonderful time with him, and then lost him, sadly. But he was in the exhibition, which was wonderful, and COUM meant such a lot to him. And that’s a new piece that I did for the exhibition as well.

Was it strange at all to be recognized as sort of “official culture” in Hull? I imagine that would be gratifying, but it seems so different from the way COUM was received at the time.

Yeah, it was a funny one, really. That kind of acknowledgement had gained momentum over the past, I guess, 15 years, where I’d been included in group shows in my own right, as well as contributed for COUM, over the years, so it wasn’t so strange. But I kind of thought it was quite ironic. It’s the kind of thing that we would have embraced as COUM, if COUM had still been going. Kind of, like, Yeah, that’s a little bit unexpected, but great! We’ll run with that.

I was given the option of different spaces to do the exhibition: the Ferens Art Gallery, which is kind of, like, quite institutional, and there’s one at the college, the Philip Larkin Gallery, which were both really beautiful. But then I was given the option of a place that could be refurbed, which was bang in the middle of where we used to do all the COUM street actions, and that just felt so right, even though it was derelict at the time [laughs] when I went ‘round, had a look. I said, “Oh, it’s got to be here, because this is where we were, this is where the spirit of COUM was.” So it was carefully planned in that respect. So to be accepted, but then at the same time impose the actual spirit of COUM on it as well, that, Yes, we’ll have that, but we’ll want this space here—that’s the best place, because it’s where we worked.

It sounds like some serendipity was involved overall.

Yes, definitely. It was quite uncanny. There was a lot of things like that going on at the same time. The momentum of that element of serendipity kind of went through the whole, well, two years of preparation, yeah.
 

 
I listened to the audiobook of Art Sex Music, which is really wonderful. I know that you were estranged from your family; had it been a long time since you’d gone back to Hull?

No, I’d gone back to Hull ‘cause my sister still lives there, and Les has lived there, has never moved out. So I’ve always gone back to visit Les, right from. . . yeah, when Nick was born, ‘82, we were back in Hull with Les. I’ve always gone back, I’ve never felt estranged from Hull at all, it’s just my place there has changed in itself.

It’s not the Hull I remember—even more so now, because there’s been a lot of regeneration going on because of the Hull City of Culture. It’s not the Hull I remember like London isn’t the London I remember, either, when I go back there. Places change, and what it means to me, it doesn’t mean that to people who are there now [laughs]. But I still have a real fondness for my time there because it was instrumental in a lot of things I do, and informing me, and forming me, from the very beginning. That was where things began for me.

Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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01.31.2019
08:20 am
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Taking psychedelic mushrooms with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
01.30.2019
09:52 am
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I’m sure we’ve all considered who we’d take psychedelics with, if given the opportunity. Off the top of my head, my choice would be Pauly Shore, Encino Man era. Bud-dy! For independent filmmaker Caveh Zahedi, that person was folk songwriter, Will Oldham. And he made that dream come true, on camera.
 
Tripping with Caveh is a thirty-minute film documenting one man’s hallucinogenic outing with Bonnie “Prince” Billy. As its introduction illustrates, the two got in contact in 2001, when the Independent Film Channel approached Zahedi to air his 1999 video diary, In the Bathtub of the World. The project contained two of Oldham’s songs without his permission and they needed to clear the rights in order to proceed. Shortly after, Caveh reached out again to inquire whether the Palace Brother would take psilocybin mushrooms with him to pitch a new television series. The product of that interaction is depicted in Tripping with Caveh.
 

 
Somewhat of a psychedelic take on John Lurie’s cult television series Fishing with John, Zahedi’s bizarre docu-reality pilot was filmed at Richard Linklater’s property in Austin, Texas. The youthful Oldham, first introduced while munching on ice cream cone at the airport, happily obliges with Caveh’s direction and retains a cheerful persona throughout the journey. What ensues is an afternoon of speculative and existential discussion, go-kart rides, pool lounges, and a late-night serenade of “I am a Cinematographer.” Oh, and Oldham steps in a hornet’s nest, which pretty much derails the whole thing.
 
To be honest, the short isn’t very good, but take what you make of it. Caveh’s filmmaking style is the product of his own narcissism and self-confession, which kind of interferes with Oldham’s carefree and heartfelt performance. If anything is to be gained, it’s maybe don’t take hallucinogens with your idols - because they may think you suck after the whole thing is said and done.
 
But yeah, I’d tooooooootally take shrooms with Bonnie “Prince” Billy.
 
Watch Will Oldham trip out with a random guy in the short film ‘Tripping with Caveh’ below:
 

 
h/t Spencer
 

Posted by Bennett Kogon
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01.30.2019
09:52 am
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Lydia Lunch and Penn & Teller in ‘Barbecue Death Squad from Hell,’ directed by Michael Nesmith
01.29.2019
08:36 am
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In 1986, Penn & Teller put out “Barbecue Death Squad from Hell,” a parody short film purporting to advertise a company whose business model was to take home movies shot in vapid suburbia and transform them into heart-palpitating schlock horror movies, all for the low, low price of $109. The movie lasts eight and a half minutes and manages to represent the brash and sarcastic comedic style of Penn & Teller adequately.

The idea of the short is that Penn & Teller portray two sleazy Hollywood producers who think they have hit upon a can’t-miss idea: send them your otherwise-useless home movies and, with the use of automated dialog replacement, or ADR, and a little bit of added footage, they will turn it into a schlocky horror movie in the Troma style, a type of entertainment that was seemingly omnipresent during those years. Somehow the conceit allowed the two alt-magicians (?) to direct their satirical eye at two hated groups, regular normies and shitty fly-by-night entertainment people.

What sets the project apart isn’t so much the content but the collaborators. Former Monkee Michael Nesmith was firmly ensconced in the world of video production by that time, and he is credited with directing “Barbecue Death Squad from Hell.” Strangely, at the precise moment this was being produced, the other three Monkees were enjoying an improbable career renaissance courtesy of MTV. Furthermore, no wave goddess Lydia Lunch was featured in the video for no discernible reason, other than the obvious.

The main actor in the “home movie” featured in the movie is James Rebhorn, a noted character actor (a favorite of mine) who appeared in such movies as The Game, Lorenzo’s Oil, and Scent of a Woman before unfortunately passing away in 2014. For a brief moment I thought that “Uncle Ernie” was a very young Ben Stiller, but no such luck. 

At the very end of “Barbecue Death Squad from Hell” there briefly flashes a disclaimer, which is sort of the funniest thing in the video. Using my “pause control,” I froze the image and read the following:
 

Notice:

If you went to all the trouble to use your pause control and read this, you probably have enough of a brain in your head to realize that this whole thing is a joke, get it? We don’t really beef up videos, and if you do send your tape and money to us, Mike Nesmith will keep your hundred and nine dollars and we will all laugh at you and make fun of your family.

You can check out the video after the jump…
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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01.29.2019
08:36 am
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Everyone on the Noise Floor: Formative North American Electronica 1975-1984
01.28.2019
02:53 pm
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There’s a new entry in Cherry Red’s exhaustive Close To The Noise Floor series of proto electronica: Third Noise Principle: Formative North American Electronica 1975-1984 explores early (late 70s/early 80s) US and Canadian efforts, including a previously unreleased track from The Residents and music from Suicide, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Patrick Cowley, NON, Laurie Spiegel, Chrome, Ministry, Moev, John Bender and dozens more. As always in the series, the music ranges from early techno and electro to synth-pop, industrial music, ambient soundscapes and noise experiments. This time there are 60 tracks spread across across 4CDs cased in a 48 page hardback book containing 10,000 words of artists’ sleevenotes and an introductory essay by Dave Henderson.
 

Patrick Cowley
 
Like its popular predecessors, Close To The Noise Floor: Formative UK Electronica 1975-1984 and Noise Reduction System: Formative European Electronica 1974-1984, Third Noise Principle covers the gamut from lesser known gems and underground classics from experimenters, innovators, composers and “outsider” musicians. As the press release puts it “Part primitive rave, part synthesiser porn, part history lesson!” and “Some wanted to dance, some to relax and others to confuse and confront – all are represented here.”
 

Terry Riley
 
Thankfully this time around there’s somewhat less of an emphasis on the history lesson aspect to the compilation as some of the material on the earlier volumes (covering early synthesizer music from UK and Europe) could sound a bit, well, educational at times (if not outright attempts at mind control). And it’s not like I’m rooting for the home team, either, I think the reason is that the American electro experimentalists simply seemed to have been able to afford better equipment than their British and continental counterparts. I felt like too much of the earlier sets just sounded like people fucking around with presets—not everyone who picked up a synth in the late 70s was ready for prime time, or even Cabaret Voltaire for that matter—but the ratio of something that is a pleasure to listen to, to tracks charitably described as being “of historical interest” gets much better this time and there are some real gems to discover here. A vinyl box set compiled from all three volumes has been announced and that seems like it might be the favored iteration of this material for me.

Have a listen to a sample selection from Third Noise Principle courtesy of Cherry Red Records.

 
Full track list after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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01.28.2019
02:53 pm
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‘I’m gonna kill you, Tin Man!’: Axl Rose’s knuckle-brawl with David Bowie over a girl, 1989
01.25.2019
12:49 pm
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Axl Rose and David Bowie hanging out at the China Club in Los Angeles in 1989. Photo by Gabriel Lorden.
 
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but David Bowie’s fistfight with Guns N’ Roses vocalist Axl Rose wasn’t the first time Bowie got himself a face full of knuckles for trying to make time with somebody else’s girl. The story about Bowie’s startling eye color involves a young Ziggy getting popped in the face by his pal George Underwood when they were both fifteen after Underwood discovered Bowie was lusting after the same girl he had eyes for. But Axl and Bowie coming to blows over a girl in 1989 is the definition of random—and the strange event was discussed by G N’ R guitarist Slash in his 2007 New York Times bestseller, Slash. You see, snakes-best-friend Slash and David Bowie go way, way back. Slash’s mom Ola Hudson was a celebrated fashion designer and had been making clothing for Bowie starting around the time Bowie released his 1975 album, Young Americans. After divorcing her husband, Ola began an affair with Bowie who was married to Angie Bowie at the time. According to Slash, he even walked in on his mom and Bowie in the nude, but let’s get back to the story of Axl Rose and a not naked Bowie throwing punches at each other over a girl in 1989.


It all began at the Cathouse—the legendary heavy metal “clubhouse” owned by Taime Downe of Faster Pussycat fame and MTV VJ and host of the Headbangers Ball, Riki Rachtman. Guns had selected one of their favorite hangouts as the spot for their warm-up before opening the first of four shows for the Rolling Stones. Slash remembers Bowie attended the show with his mother Ola who was sitting with the Thin White Duke in front of the stage when Axl started to hurl nasty insults at him, causing Bowie to leave mid-way through Guns’ set. Ola didn’t understand any of it until Slash told her later on Axl was pissed at Bowie for allegedly hitting on his girlfriend Erin Everly (the daughter of Don Everly of the Everly Brothers). Now, here is where the story gets a bit murky concerning Axl and Bowie and their glammy “fistfight.”
 

Slash’s mother Ola Hudson and David Bowie.
 
In addition to the warm-up gig at the Cathouse, the band also shot footage for the video “It’s So Easy,” and this is where club co-owner Riki Rachtman (as told to Rolling Stone) recalls a very drunk David Bowie showed up to watch everything go down. The video, which didn’t see the light of day until 2018, prominently featured Everly in leather bondage gear, handcuffs, with a ball-gag in her mouth. According to Rachtman, when Axl caught wind of Bowie sizing up Everly for his next meal, he went ballistic, and the two (maybe) threw their fists in each other’s general direction. The event concluded with Axl chasing Bowie out of the Cathouse screaming “I’m gonna kill you, TIN MAN.” As much as I adore Bowie, you gotta hand it to Axl for that one. But wait! There’s more, and it involves Mick Jagger—another rock star who has had his fair share of girlfriends pilfered by Bowie. In an interview with heavy metal bible Kerrang! in 1990, journalist Mick Wall queried Rose about his alleged punch fest at the Cathouse with Bowie. While Axl doesn’t exactly confirm he got into a physical altercation with Bowie, he doesn’t exactly deny it either. In fact, the story had already made it to the ears of Mick Jagger who approached Axl along with Eric Clapton backstage during soundcheck at the LA Coliseum. Here’s Axl on the special moment Jagger and Clapton asked him if he had punched David Bowie’s perfect face:

“I was out doing a soundcheck one day when we were opening for the Rolling Stones, and Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton cornered me. I’m sittin’ on this amp and all of a sudden they’re both right there in front of me. And Jagger doesn’t really talk a lot, right? He’s just real serious about everything, and all of a sudden he’s like (adopts exaggerated Dick Van Dyke-style Cockney), “So you got in a fight with Bowie, didja?” So I told him the story real quick, and he and Clapton are going off about Bowie in their own little world, talking about things from years ago. They were saying things like when Bowie gets drunk, he turns into the “Devil from Bromley” (Bowie’s family moved to the London Borough of Bromley when he was a teenager). I mean, I’m not even in this conversation. I’m just sittin’ there. Listening to ‘em bitch like crazy about Bowie. It was funny.”

If you’ve been curious about the photo at the top of this post of Axl and Bowie looking like BFF’s out scoping for chicks, here’s the story; after the incident at the Cathouse, Bowie and Axl chatted and decided to meet up at the China Club where they smoothed things over. And while they didn’t become best pals in real life, Axl felt he shared a lot in common with Bowie, especially when it came to their “experimental” creativity and their mutual love of sex and drugs. Awww. Speaking of things that make you say “aww,” after the jump you will see photos taken at Guns’ warm-up show, the video shoot, a few taken backstage at the Rolling Stones gig, and images of Ola Hudson and Bowie back in the day. Lastly, you can also check out the NSFW video for “It’s So Easy,” in all its sleazy glory—if you’re into that kind of thing. (PS: You are).
 
Continues over…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.25.2019
12:49 pm
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Alice Cooper meets Sweet in the nightmarish glam rock of ‘70s Dutch band, Lemming
01.25.2019
09:54 am
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Lemming Lucifera
 
Anyone who’s a fan of junkshop glam is going to want the fantastic new CD boxed set, All the Young Droogs: 60 Juvenile Delinquent Wrecks. The collection contains a whopping 60 tracks of obscure ‘70s glam rock from all over the world. One of the tunes that caught my attention is “Lucifera” by the Dutch shock-rock group, Lemming. Inspired by the Italian adult comic book series of the same name, and released in 1973 as the band’s first single, “Lucifera” is a unique blend of Alice Cooper and Sweet. During their early years, Lemming had a devilish stage show—their singer was heavily into Satanism, at the time—complete with an altar, electric chairs, coffins, torches, smoke bombs, hangmen, and an exotic dancer.
 
Lemming TopPop
 
We can thank writer/musician/collector Philip King for exposing us to Lemming, and to junkshop glam, in general. Nearly 20 years ago, he, along with Buzzcocks bassist Tony Barber, coined the term “junkshop glam.” Since then, he’s been heavily involved with a number of stellar compilations related to the genre, including All the Young Droogs. Philip and I have been in touch as of late, and he had this to say regarding “Lucifera”: “In an ideal world this would have been a huge Halloween hit.” I wholeheartedly agree.
 

 
“Lucifera,” along with subsequent singles, “Father John” and “Queen Jacula” (also inspired by an Italian adult comic book, the erotic-horror series, Jacula) charted in their home country of Holland. In 1975, their initial records were combined with new material and released as Lemming’s self-titled debut LP. Stream the album on Spotify.
 
Lemming LP
 
Though Lemming would soon ditch the shock-rock approach, the group continued to release 45s, and soldiered on until 1982. They later reunited as “The Lemming,” and are still at it.
 
Planet of Love
 
I couldn’t find any video of Lemming playing “Lucifera” from back in the day, but I did come across great TV clips of the band miming to “Farmer John” and “Queen Jacula.” Watch them after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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01.25.2019
09:54 am
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