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Pussy Riot: Russian riot grrrls lead the way


 
Before the police dragged them off, the members of Pussy Riot, the Russian day-glo balaclava-clad punk rock protesters, sang their anthem “Revolt in Russia” (“Revolt in Russia – the charisma of protest / Revolt in Russia, Putin’s got scared!”) near the Kremlin. Their inspiration for a style of resistance never before seen in Russia, was the riot grrrl punk movement, including groups like Kathleen Hanna’s Bikini Kill, and flash mobs. The young women of the collective, average age 25, have revealed only the smallest details about their lives. None will divulge their day jobs. They only use first-names.

In the two weeks since their mid-January action, the all-female group has become a potent symbol of anger at the status quo in Russian society and their videos have gone viral all over the world. Like many young people in Russia, the members of the Pussy Riot collective are furious at Vladamir Putin’s plans to seek the presidency again and his return was the impetus behind the formation of the group (as well as their song “Putin Has Pissed Himself”). From The Guardian:

“We understood that to achieve change, including in the sphere of women’s rights, it’s not enough to go to Putin and ask for it,” said Garadzha. “This is a rotten, broken system.”

Her bandmate Tyurya said: “The culture of protest needs to develop. We have one form, but we need many different kinds.”

The band began writing songs with lyrics such as: “Egyptian air is good for the lungs / Do Tahrir on Red Square!” and performing on trams and in the metro. Videos of the flash gigs began spreading across the internet. When the protest leader Alexey Navalny was jailed for 15 days after his arrest during Russia’s first post-election protest on 5 December, three members of Pussy Riot took to the roof of the jail where he was being held, setting off red flares as they sang “Death to prison / Freedom to protest!”

The fear of arrest long ago left the band members, steeped in the tradition of illegal protest. “We have experience with it, we’ve been detained at protests before,” said Tyurya. “It’s not scary – you’re surrounded by good, normal people, those who protest against Putin.”

All eight women were detained during the Kremlin performance, questioned and released. Most got off with administrative fines rather than the 15-day jail sentences often doled out to those who stage illegal protests.

“The revolution should be done by women,” said Garazhda. “For now, they don’t beat or jail us as much.”

“There’s a deep tradition in Russia of gender and revolution – we’ve had amazing women revolutionaries.”

The band is getting ready for its next performance, something that usually takes a month to pull together. Its members don’t discuss plans on the telephone or give away details, out of fear that the security services will disrupt the project. Is what they do art or politics? “For us it’s one and the same.”

Despite projected temperatures of -20C, tens of thousands of protesters are expected to march on Bolotnaya Square, across from the Kremlin, on Saturday. The Russian presidential election will be held on March 4. Vladimir Putin, is, of course, expected to win handily.

Read more:
Feminist punk band Pussy Riot take revolt to the Kremlin (The Guardian)
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.03.2012
07:40 pm
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‘Angelic’ Asian ‘Steve Jobs’ sells the ‘Action Pad’
02.03.2012
11:50 am
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An angelic “Steve Jobs” shilling Taiwanese tablets. Angel wings? Check. Halo? Check. Bad taste? You decide. I’m smellin’ a lawsuit here.
 

 
Via Copyranter

Posted by Tara McGinley
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02.03.2012
11:50 am
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Three Primary Colors: New OK Go music video (and game) from ‘Sesame Street’
02.02.2012
06:23 pm
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Usually their videos have millions of views on day one, but this one seems to have slipped out unnoticed, relatively speaking. There is also an OK Go color game at Sesame Street.com.

Directed by Al Jarnow, the animator responsible for the iconic “Cosmic Clock” short. This is his first new work for Sesame Street in over 25 years.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Cosmic Clock: The Passing of Time Visualized

Thank you Jesse Jarnow!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.02.2012
06:23 pm
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Rarely seen film footage of The Clash at The Palladium in NYC, 1979
02.02.2012
05:10 pm
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Photo: Bob Gruen
 
Using a silent video (from 8 mm film footage) uploaded to Vimeo by Ruby Max Fury, Clash fans synched audio from bootleg recordings to the film to re-create a sense of what it was like on the night of September 21, 1979 when the The Clash invaded New York City. The second night of a two night stand at The Palladium, this was the show where Paul Simonon made rock history when he smashed his guitar to the stage and Pennie Smith took the iconic photo that graced the cover of London Calling.

In February of ‘79, I was in the audience for The Clash’s NYC debut. Standing in the swaying balcony and watching the The Clash pummel and strafe the audience with rock so hard you could feel it in your guts, I knew instantaneously I was witnessing a band for the ages. If there had been any doubt that punk bands could play their instruments, The Clash crushed that myth beneath a barrage of tight visceral beats and lacerating guitars. It was epic. And it was very very good.

Writer Tom Carson described The Clash live sound beautifully:

The musicians’ confidence was evident at every turn. Lead guitarist Mick Jones and bassist Paul Simonon leaped around as if no stage could hold them; Nicky Headon’s drums cracked through the music with the authority of machine-gun fire. The group’s perfect ensemble timing - the two guitars locking horns above the percussion; the way Jones’ ethereal, incantatory backup vocals filled the gaps in Joe Strummer’s harsh leads - went beyond mere technical mastery; it was audible symbols of the band’s communal instinct.

A sublime slice of rock history.
 

 
Via Stupefaction

Posted by Marc Campbell
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02.02.2012
05:10 pm
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Bill Cosby hoodie
02.01.2012
03:36 pm
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Unfortunately, I just discovered that this excellent Bill Cosby hoodie is no longer available from the online made to order website HeadHoods. Maybe if you write them, they’ll make you one? 

Oh, and if you’re a Grace Jones fan, they have a hoodie of her, too!

Below, a GIF that serves no real purpose:
 

 
(via reddit)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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02.01.2012
03:36 pm
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Brand new from Die Antwoord: ‘I Fink U Freeky’
01.31.2012
04:08 pm
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Yes, I still dig them.

“Sexy boys, fancy boys, playboys, bad boys

I think you’re freaky and I like you a lot.”

Directed by Roger Ballen & NINJA. From Die Antwoord’s self-released album TEN$ION which drops on February 7.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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01.31.2012
04:08 pm
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Sex, cigarettes and revolution
01.31.2012
02:49 pm
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French director Henry Chapier’s 1968 documentary American Summer is a companion piece to Sex-Power which DM featured a couple of months ago. What I said about that film applies to American Summer: ” Revolution has never been sexier, more romantic, existential or just plain goofy when seen through the prism of the nouvelle vague.”

In American Summer we’re confronted with a bunch of white California militants who’ve aligned themselves with the Black Panther movement during the trial of Huey Newton. The film captures a moment in which the youth movement of the Sixties was becoming restless with passive forms of resistance against the Vietnam War and civil inequality, a time in which giving peace a chance was being supplanted by a naive and relatively unrealistic notion of revolution. The ideology was becoming more radical and language more provocative, but little action was actually being taken by the children of privilege. It was mostly a theoretical revolution composed of words and salutes. “In dreams begin responsibilities”...but most of us were still dreamers.

Featuring clips from speeches given by Black Panther party militants, an interview with Black Panther Party information secretary Kathleen Cleaver, concerts, a Black Panther military parade and music by Quicksilver Messenger Service.
 

 
‘Sex-Power’: Rarely seen French film about the Sixties with Jane Birkin

Posted by Marc Campbell
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01.31.2012
02:49 pm
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Ad buster: 5-year-old describes what she sees while looking at brand logos
01.30.2012
08:14 pm
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I normally don’t post “cute kid” videos here on Dangerous Minds, but this is my exception because this kid is one. Graphic designer Adam Ladd showed his 5-year-old daughter various brand logos and recorded her amusing descriptions. 

As one YouTuber points out, “Americans: always know their Pepsi, McDonald’s, and cars. The rest are cheetahs.”
 

 
Via Laughing Squid

Posted by Tara McGinley
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01.30.2012
08:14 pm
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Miriam Linna: ‘Obsessions from the flipside of Kicksville’
01.29.2012
04:47 pm
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“A weed is a plant out of place.”
― Jim Thompson, “The Killer Inside Me”

As a teenage renegade straight out of the rock and roll heartland of Ohio, Miriam Linna was the drummer in the “Cramps first lineup which played forty-odd dates over an eight month period from the first show on All Saints Night 1976 through July 13, 1977, the date of the NYC blackout.”

I was lucky enough to see The Cramps open for The Ramones at CBGB in April of 1977. The original lineup, Miriam, Bryan, Lux and Ivy, were always my favorite configuration of that great band. They really had it goin’ on. Their look, their intensity and mad energy was alchemical; an exhilarating voodoo that could spook an audience while simultaneously sending them into the throes of rock and roll ecstasy. They got under your skin and fucked around with your spleen.

The Cramps opened up a door that led to a mother lode of forgotten bands and singers that had been residing in the shadows, left behind by deejays, music critics, record labels - the mole-like gatekeepers of pop culture. While radios spewed their acrid breath, Cramp acolytes like myself followed Lux and his bandmates, lurching steadily ahead like the freshly exhumed living dead in Val Lewton’s I Walked with a Zombie, into the heart of rock’s dark and tangled jungle, excavating and unearthing lost vinyl treasures and musical artifacts that contained real magic.

The Cramps, and the second wave of garage bands that followed in their wake, were as much musical anthropologists as they were rock and rollers. Like punk pioneers Patti Smith, The Ramones, Blondie and The Dictators, The Cramps were on a mission from god to revive the roots of rock at a time when what was being called rock and roll was mass-marketed product that had about as much in common with Little Richard and Gene Vincent as Lana Del Ray does with The Del- Vikings.

From her early days in New York’s downtown music scene to archivist of all that is hep, Miriam Linna was, is and always has been a rock fanatic . She, along with the fabulous Billy Miller, created one of the coolest record stores and record labels on the planet, Norton Records, and her love for the distilled, cut-to-the-chase, blunt energy and gutbucket prose of pulp novels led her to start her own publishing company Kicks Books.

Having published work by Nick Tosches, Sun Ra, Andre Williams, Eddie Rocco and with upcoming titles from Harlan Ellison and Kim Fowley, Linna is bringing the same passion and intelligence she brought to Norton Records and Kicks magazine (with Miller) to the world of book publishing and, as usual, she’s doing it in her no-bullshit way.


Dangerous Minds:  From playing drums with The Cramps to being a co-founder of Norton Records and now a publisher of books by Sun Ra and Andre Williams, you’ve forged a path of being a champion for music and literature that might have gone undiscovered without your help. What first inspired you to explore the world of outsider art and obscure rock and roll?

Miriam Linna:  I don’t consider the music, movies, or books that make my life worthwhile “outsider art”. Actually, I’m repelled by what the expression represents and have no association whatsoever with anyone who is involved with it. Like most people, I like what I like. On top of that, I’m curious, obsessive and refuse to be told what to do and how to do it.

DM:  In spite of all the talk of the publishing business dying and the emergence of electronic books, there seems to be a movement toward a return to books you can hold in your hands kind of like the resurgence of interest in vinyl records. Would you agree?

ML:  There is no charm in digital anything.

DM: I like the format of your books. The fact they fit in your pocket is like old style pulp paperbacks. What prompted that design decision?

ML:  I’ve always considered “hip pocket paperbacks” the perfect book format. I like paper, I love books. I’m a nut for Signet- style “talls” and find a slim, unique book capable of causing all sorts of visceral reactions extremely appealing.


DM:  How did you come upon the poetry of Sun Ra?

ML:  Music historian and Sun Ra archivist Michael Anderson contacted us when he discovered a large cache of Sonny Blount dictations and recordings on tape. Norton records had issued three albums of early Sun Ra music, and followed with three spoken word albums culled from these newly discovered recordings. I transcribed the audio, plus several additional tapes’ worth of lost poetic dictation. This material trashed my horizontal with its consistency—here was a cohesive collection of poetic writings—pretty much all attitudinal science fiction with a serious political bent.  Afro-futurism at its earliest and most intentional. 

DM: Given your involvement with Norton Records, you’ve obviously grown to know Andre Williams over the years. Did he bring you his novel and short stories?

ML:  Andre had no novel or short stories until he went into rehab a couple of years ago. He called me when he went in (not of his own volition), saying he was going to bust out. I told him if he did that, he would not live to see the end of the year. We started talking and he said if he was going to stay he needed something to do, that he was going stir-crazy. We got around to talking about him writing, and I suggested he write some fiction. This was a new concept for him, but I knew already from his brilliant plot-rich song lyrics that he was a class-A storyteller. Over the several weeks of his rehabilitation, Andre and I spoke at least every two or three days via collect phone calls, with him faxing in drafts and outlines. Right off the bat, I was shocked by the fact that he was writing from the first person vantage point of a fifteen year old girl named Sweets, a kid who gets in trouble, becomes a prostitute, a madam, a drug runner, and everything in between.  Andre’s storyline was part fever dream, part wishful thinking (loaded with cocaine and sex), part autobiography. I promised him that if he could stick with it and finish a short novel, that I would publish it.

DM: Nick Tosches wrote one of my favorite rock books, “Unsung Heroes Of Rock and Roll.” You recently published his “Save The Last Dance for Satan.” When did you and Nick meet?

ML:  I’ve known Nick for many years. He wrote the intro to “Sweets,” and he and Andre read together at the book launch at St Mark’s Church here in New York.

DM: You published “The Great Lost Photographs Of Eddie Rocco” in 1997 and it has since become a collector’s item. Any plans for a second edition?

ML:  Plans, yes. Something definite - not at the moment.

DM: Where do you see the business of music heading? It’s getting harder and harder for bands to exist when their art is so easily downloaded for free on the Internet. Do you ever despair for the future of rock?

ML: I’m not worried. Real music will always be made by real people for real people. Real records will be made so long as they can be manufactured. Should the day come when all manufacturing ceases, well, we have countless great existing shellac and PVC discs of various sizes spinning at various speeds to discover and thrill to. And if they stop making phonographs, then they will become a commodity, but those who need them will be able to maintain them. Maybe some enterprising individual can reinvent the wind-up pre-electricity phonograph for when the power grids go down and even the download monsters and children of the damned Internet can wallow in silence while the analogue minions crank up wax by candlelight. Now there’s an Escape From New York for you!

DM: Are you still playing music?

ML: I play drums in my long time band the A-Bones and my not-so-long-time band the Figures of Light.

DM: What’s in the pipeline for Kicks Books?

ML: Harlan Ellison’s “Pulling A Train” and “Getting In The Wind”... Kim Fowley’s “Lord Of Garbage”... Andre Williams’ sequel “Streets”... and in a larger book format “I Fought The Law (The Authorized Biography of Bobby Fuller)” by Randy Fuller and myself… and eventually my “Bad Seed Bible.”

You can follow Miriam on her ultra-groovy blog Kicksville66, where the writing is fast and furious. You can also visit Norton Records Records website “where the loud sound abounds.”

 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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01.29.2012
04:47 pm
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Alice Cooper performs ‘Black Juju’ at Midsummer Rock Festival 1970
01.28.2012
12:46 am
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Alice Cooper performs “Black Juju” during the Midsummer Rock Festival on June 13, 1970 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cooper claims Pink Floyd as an early influence on his music and it certainly can be seen in this video, which has never been officially released on VHS or DVD.

At the 4 minute mark watch as Cooper gets hit by an upside-down pineapple cake.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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01.28.2012
12:46 am
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