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Chilling images of Hitler celebrating Christmas & decorations inspired by the Nazis


Christmas ornaments produced in Germany during the rise and rule of Adolf Hitler.
 
In the 1930s as Hitler and his Nazis were coming to power in Germany, they began a war on Christmas, a quest to dismantle age-old Christmas traditions and replace them with Nordic/pagan practices and folklore. The Nazis wanted everyone to follow their lead when it came to their image of the holiday—which at some point included displaying swastikas on Christmas trees. In Germany, Christmas is called “Weihnachten” which the Nazis also took it upon themselves to rename Rauhnacht, which translates in English to “the rough night.”

The Nazis’ changes to Christmas included anti-Semitic activities such as actively avoiding doing business at Jewish-owned establishments during the holiday so that their celebrations would be “free of Jews.” Christmas carols were modified to reflect socialist Nazi beliefs and ideology including replacing references to the “Savior” with a nod to Hitler himself, “Savior Führer.” While many of the Reich’s changes to Christmas took hold, there was one aspect of the holiday that they could not do away with—the image the jolly old fat man, Santa Claus—even in Hitler’s Germany, Santa remained a fixture of the newly Nazified celebration.

Other changes inflicted by the Nazis during the period before their eventual fall in the mid-1940s was the use of Christmas decorations. If you were not already aware, the tradition of decorating a tree at Christmas time got its start in Germany in the 16th century. The most problematic issue for the Nazis was the gleaming star on the top of the tree—a six-pointed star signified Judaism and the Jewish community. A five-pointed star was associated with communism which was less than appealing to the Nazis as well. Instead, Germans were encouraged to replace tree-topping stars with, you guessed it, a swastika or the symbol for the SS (the “Schutzstaffel” or “Protection Squadron” formed under Hitler). Ornaments were transformed to contain Nazi images, slogans like “Sieg Heil!,” and glass-blown baubles in the image of their beloved leader Adolf Hitler. The metamorphosis took approximately six years to complete, though it would all come to an end in 1944, when Hitler met his maker on April 30th—four months after the very last Nazified Christmas.

The images that follow are haunting historical documents of how the Nazis tried to change Christmas (and the world) and failed. 
 

 

 

 
More chilling Nazi Christmas images after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.15.2017
08:50 am
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The (Foolproof) Annual Dangerous Minds’ Christmas Shopping Guide for Hard-to-Buy-for Rock Snobs
12.12.2017
10:21 am
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Every year about this time I write up my annual “Christmas Shopping Guide for Hard-to-Buy-for Rock Snobs” list of cool things for your musichead loved ones. Last year I was all about 5.1 surround, Blu-ray audio, “studio masters” and so forth. High tech, high quality, high resolution digital audio. I’d jettisoned a huge record collection in the mid 1990s that was crowding me out of my apartment and I never looked back. Then one snowy day this past February, a beautiful brand new high end turntable was sitting on my porch, a gift from my genius audio designer pal Alexander Rosson (the man who designed the famous Audeze LCD-3 headphones that you see in every good recording studio). And I mean, what does one do when one gets such an amazing toy as a gift? Obviously one needs some new records to throw at it. I immediately logged on to Discogs and decided to reconstitute much of the collection I’d sold off, repurchasing a lot of the very same stuff I used to own—at twice the price—over the course of… a matter of days. (I’m good like that.)

So yeah, Digital Dan reverted back to Analog Andy pretty fast. Anything that I have ever said in the past about the superiority of 24-bit digital audio to vinyl I hereby repudiate. I was stupid. I take it all back. Please forgive me.

To attone for my sins, I’ve compiled a (mostly) vinyl rock snob shopping guide this year. The object is not only to highlight what I think are the best releases of 2017 but also to provide a public service for my people: There is a certain type of “person” (okay, guy) who already has everything he ever wanted at the age of 12, and no matter how cool that sweater, new socks and wallet might be, he ultimately only cares about the stuff that they sell in record stores. Christmas is often so unsatisfying for this sort of chap, but if you follow my handy suggestions, even the most difficult-to-buy-for rock snob giftee on your shopping list will have a very merry Christmas this year and you’ll look like a genius.

Or even like you actually really care about them…
 

 
The classic 70s Brian Eno half-speed 2XLP 45rpm releases are THE BOMB. Since they only recently came out, it’s a safe bet that finding a couple of these under the tree will go down a treat. Here Come the Warm Jets and Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy both blew my doors off and I know these albums like the back of my hand. Remastered from the best analog sources available, at Abbey Road Studios, the heavy, dead quiet pressings spread a single album’s worth of songs over two long players, allowing for an increased audio level to be cut into the lacquers for a superior signal-to-noise ratio. These albums have never sounded better. Usually I’m all about getting an original pressing of 60s and 70s classics, but I’m starting to be convinced that new pressings have much to offer, maybe more. Not always, but certain labels are really doing it right. If it’s sound quality vs. the “trophy” value of a certain original pressing that motivates you, “new” vinyl releases of vintage titles are looking better all the time.

And speaking of labels that really do it right, have you heard about the recently-launched ultra high quality audiophile vinyl concern known as Intervention Records? IR’s mission is to offer the very best-sounding pressings of classic albums by the likes of Big Audio Dynamite, Judee Sill, Erasure and Joe Jackson. Intervention’s release of The Gilded Palace of Sin by The Flying Burrito Bros. is probably the single best-sounding record that I have in my collection and is definitely the first thing I grab whenever I want to geek out and impress someone with my epic middle-aged man’s stereo system. No one who loves music and owns a turntable is going to be disappointed when they slap that particular slab on the record player, this I can promise you.
 

 
IR’s deluxe 2XLP 45rpm Judee Sill releases are the best those albums (Judee Sill and Heart Food) are ever going to sound and their Joe Jackson releases, same thing. The ball gets knocked squarely out of the park. There’s still a pretty dedicated Joe Jackson fanbase out there (I saw him in concert recently myself) and despite the fact that mint copies of most of his albums can easily be acquired for $5 in any decent used record store, remarkably these IR reissues still rate quite a significant improvement over records that already sounded good to begin with. If you told me that there was a pressing of Night and Day that was, say, 15% better than the original record (and a lot better than the CD) then that is something I need to hear, stat. Same for I’m the Man and Look Sharp. Intervention Records goes the extra mile and beyond. Support what they do.
 

 
The next three albums I’m going to group together because each features the participation of my pal multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter producer/studio owner Jonathan Wilson. He’s currently playing guitar on the second leg of Roger Waters’ world tour (he also sings many of the David Gilmour numbers in the set) and he’s all over Waters’ incredible new album (his first collection of original material for 25 years) Is This the Life We Really Want? Produced by Nigel Godrich and mostly recorded at Wilson’s Fivestarstudios, man did I play the shit out of this album in 2017 and consider it to be a strong addition to Waters’ legendary discography, the best since Pink Floyd’s Animals. (Allow me to direct you to a more fleshed out review here).
 

 
And then there is Father John Misty’s latest and greatest, Pure Comedy. I describe this sprawling, stunning album as 2017’s answer to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and what I mean by that is that it’s clearly a “prestige” release by a major “serious” artist, plus both have lots of piano. Obviously Sub Pop agreed as the elaborate packaging they sprung for announces this platter’s artistic importance loud and clear, just as it did with Elton John’s classic. Did I say classic? Yeah, I did and this new FJM album is as classic as it gets. Pure Comedy might a bit on the nihilistic side, sure, but when has a soundtrack for the endtimes ever sounded so lush and gorgeous? Here FJM comes off like an omniscient Harry Nilsson filled with bemused weltschmerz alternately mocking and pitying mankind or a particularly sardonic Loudon Wainwright III observing the folly human beings with a jaundiced eye and with the sort of grandiose orchestral tendencies associated with his son. And there is Double Roses, the second album by supermodel Karen Elson and produced by Wilson. Taking its title from Sam Shepard, Double Roses is a confessional divorce/breakup album in the mode of Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks or Joni Mitchell’s Blue. Her voice reminds me a lot of Tammy Wynette’s. I realize these comparisons are high praise, but they are also legitimately deserved. Elson was previously married to Jack White and here is the story of their divorce and the aftermath told in a way that anyone who has ever had a broken heart or been disappointed in love could relate to. If you know anything at all about the artist going in, you know exactly who she’s singing about, but even if you didn’t, it wouldn’t make any difference. Double Roses captured my attention from the first listen and seldom left my turntable for several weeks. If your reaction to the notion of an album by a top fashion model is skeptical, just get over it.
 

 
One of the best “various artist” compilations of 2017—and sure to please the most jaded and sophisticated musical tastes—is Follow the Sun, Anthology’s anthology of 1970s AM radio folk rock from Australia. This is one of those comps that’s so goddamn good that you just keep playing the first side over and over and over again before you ever play side two even once. I’m NUTS about this record and cannot recommend it highly enough (buy it for yourself, you won’t regret it). Another phenomenal comp that came out this year is the Numero Group’s Wayfaring Strangers:Acid Nightmares, a collection of obscure late 60s/early 70s sub-Sabbath barre chord rockers about drug addiction, freaking out, puking, etc. Surprisingly it sounds really good, not a low-fi thing at all. And a lot of it is really ridiculously catchy. And like I say, how can you go wrong with underground hard rock songs about bad LSD, popping pills, hypodermic needles, night sweats and so forth? YOU CANNOT.
 

 
My final musical recommendations are CD box sets…

Keep reading after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.12.2017
10:21 am
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Ronnie James Dio’s recipe for a wassail bowl
12.08.2017
09:50 am
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For the benefit of future generations, the 1988 cookbook Rock ‘N’ Roll Cuisine collected the recipes for Rod Stewart’s “SANDWHICH [sic] FOR HANGOVER,S [sic],” George Michael’s risotto, Ian Astbury’s “dangerously spicy” chickpeas, Debbie Harry’s nutty shrimp, Ozzy’s chicken curry, and so on.

Ronnie James Dio’s contribution, set in blackletter type, was something like the bill of fare for a feudal baron’s Christmas feast: roast suckling pig with bread sauce, served with cups from the wassail bowl. Not just any wassail bowl, either, but “The Wassail, prepared by Charles Dickens for the entertainment, on Christmas Eve, at the Charity of Richard Watts, Rochester, Kent, England, 1854.” People needed this kind of hot, sugary booze back then. I bet a few good slugs out of this here wassail bowl could make a person forget all about the symptoms of smallpox, typhus and the measles, not to mention the cares of the 10-hour factory shift.

Wassail Bowl

1 quart ale
1/4 ounce ground nutmeg
1/4 ounce grated ginger
1/4 ounce grated cinnamon
1/2 bottle sherry
2 slices toasted bread (1/2 inch thick)
1 lemon, juice & peel
sugar to taste
2 well-baked apples

Put ale in sauce pan and cook gently till it foams, then stir in the spices, add the sherry, lemon peel and juice with sugar. When sugar is dissolved, set pan aside on stove for twenty minutes to infuse. Then warm up, pour into punch bowl, let the toast and apples float in this and serve in cups.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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12.08.2017
09:50 am
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The annual Dangerous Minds last-minute shopping guide for rock snobs & culture vultures
12.21.2016
08:50 pm
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Each year around this time, I put together a “last minute” list of cool things meant to aid the friends and loved ones of rock snobs and especially hard-to-buy-for people-who-have-everything during the holiday season. I would imagine that I’m probably in the top 1% of the top 1% of the infuriatingly difficult to gift—trust me, I already own it and I probably got it for free from a record label—so I feel uniquely qualified to be of assistance here.
 

 
The mammoth, slick, classy, near definitive career-spanning 10-CD Marc Almond package, Trials of Eyeliner: The Anthology 1979-2016, is easily the very best box set of the year. Hell, it’s one of the best box sets ever released, period, if you ask me. From Soft Cell’s greatest hits to each and every one of Almond’s single releases, some hidden gems, collaborations and demos, this is the ultimate Marc Almond collection. Why would this make a good gift and for whom? For a gay uncle or brother who loves music, it’s a solid choice, but it’s a great pick for anyone who loves music, really. Marc Almond is a genius, one of our greatest living vocalists and this is a box set to lose yourself in, a true musical journey and an exceeding rare pleasure to discover for the very first time. For someone whose musical tastes would intersect favorably in a Venn diagram triangulated by Nick Cave, Scott Walker and Maria Callas. It’s also not that expensive for a 10-CD set, often selling on Amazon for around $60. It would be a bargain at ten times the price. Here’s a longer review.

Action Time Vision, a new 111-track “story of independent punk 1976-79” from Cherry Red Records is the sole obscure punk box set that anyone will care about in the future. Let’s face it, once you get much beyond the Sex Pistols, the Damned and the Clash—and precious few others—there wasn’t really a whole lot of truly great punk rock music that was produced during the punk rock era. What came after punk was a deluge of amazement and creativity, whereas the vast majority of “classic” punk bands, well the essential “A list” stuff could be rounded up into one good box set. Action Time Vision is the onion layer beyond that one good box set, boasting material not from all the usual suspects. Some of this stuff is truly thrilling and will send your rock snob giftee (or you yourself, if that’s who you’re buying for) spanning out to look for more from below-the-radar groups like the Hollywood Brats, Poison Girls, Swell Maps, Rezillos and others.
 

 
For someone who you are fond of, but not so fond of them that they merit a freakin’ box set, may I (strongly) suggest Beyond the Bloodhounds, the debut album by the incredible new talent, Adia Victoria? Earlier this year I described her music as “an authentic 21st century Southern gothic blues” and asked “Would you press play if I described Adia Victoria as ‘Jeffrey Lee Pierce reincarnated as Ronnie Spector’?” before answering my own question: “You’d be a fucking idiot if you didn’t, now wouldn’t you?” When a new artist arrives this fully formed, you should pay attention. This one has the makings of a future icon. She’s gorgeous and she plays a mean guitar. By a narrow margin, I rank Beyond the Bloodhounds as my top favorite album of 2016. A+.

Just one half-notch below Adia Victoria’s debut comes Häxan, the new longplayer from Dungen. I was nuts—absolutely crazy—about last year’s Dungen alum, Allas Sak, and I pretty enthusiastic about this one too. Dungen can do no wrong in my eyes, each and every one of their albums is a thing of finely crafted beauty, something I hope they themselves are fiercely proud of, because they should be. Dungen make beautiful music for a world that needs more beautiful things. Häxan is their soundtrack to the Russian silent animated feature film from 1926 The Adventures of Prince Achmed. It’s pure magic from the first note to the last. Note that this would be something especially good to get on vinyl.

Then there’s the latest from Luke Haines, Smash the System. This album fucking rocks and contains the very best song of 2016: “Black Bunny (I’m Not Vince Taylor).” In fact, let me offer you the best musical advice I could possibly offer you: Buy every album by The Auteurs and every solo album by Haines (and his books). Start with After Murder Park, then get New Wave or How I Learned to Love the Bootboys. Don’t miss out on the oddball terrorist punk funk of the Baader-Meinhof album. But get ALL of Luke Haines’ output, first for yourself, and only then should you worry about other people. You’re welcome.
 

 
The three CD Momus collection, Pubic Intellectual: An Anthology 1986-2016 is another sure-thing, cast miss, all-killer, no-filler that will delight just about any rock snob. The smarter they are, the better they’ll appreciate what the eyepatch wearing Scotsman has on offer culled from the past 30 years of his output. Momus is not a household name, although he should be. If I didn’t already own this and someone gave it to me, I would not only be super happy, I would think that it reflected well on the giver’s musical tastes. (More on Momus here)

Rhino recently released an “elevated edition” of Jethro Tull’s mighty Stand Up album remixed for 5.1 surround by Steven Wilson. If you have someone on your shopping list who is an aficionado of 5.1 music (or happen to be one yourself) this is another must-hear effort from Wilson’s audio lab. I was already a big fan of Stand Up, but in surround, it’s simply sublime. Even better the edition—which comes packaged like a hardback book—includes a 5.1 mix of their classic “Living in the Past” single and DVD footage of the group playing live in Sweden in 1969
 

 
In terms of books, there’s only one that I’m going to recommend this year and that is The Essential Paul Laffoley: Works from the Boston Visionary Cell edited by Douglas Walla. This is the best art book of 2016, and to my mind there can no other competition. How could anything else possibly outweigh it? Nothing can. A stunning compendium of beautiful art and ideas by the late visionary artist. There’s no one with a brain who wouldn’t be thrilled to get this for Christmas.

Movie posters make awesome gifts and they show that you’ve really thought about the person you’re giving it to (provided of course, that you did really think about them and didn’t just buy a ratty Home Alone 2 poster on your way home from work from a homeless guy.) My favorite poster store on the entire Internet, the Los Angeles-based Westgate Gallery is currently running a big 40% off sale (that’s almost half off) which continues into the new year so you can spend your “Christmas money” on exquisite poster art curated by someone with a particularly good eye. If you know a movie, or a particular actor or actress that your intended giftee is into, something from Westgate Gallery during their 40% off sale would make a fantastic gift. Hundreds upon hundreds of amazing images there, you can surf around for hours. Featuring a large selection of Italian Giallo, “golden age of XXX” and cult film favorites.
 

 
Which brings me to DVDs. This year if I had to pick the sort of offbeat film that I would be happy to get on DVD, I’d chose Candy, the star-studded adaptation of the Terry Southern-Mason Hoffenberg farce—yes it’s a terrible movie but the cast includes Ringo Starr, James Coburn, John Astin, Richard Burton, Walter Matthau and Marlon Brando as the horny guru Grindl. And then there’s Otto Preminger’s Skidoo, a Hollywood attempt at a counterculture comedy where Jackie Gleason plays a retired mod hitman who accidentally takes LSD and Groucho Marx is “God.” It costars Carol Channing and most of the unemployed villains from TV’s Batman. Nilsson did the soundtrack and—get this—sings the credits. But I had you at Jackie Gleason dropping acid, didn’t I?
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.21.2016
08:50 pm
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‘Christmas in Tattertown,’ Ralph Bakshi’s bizarre holiday TV special
12.19.2016
09:47 am
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Although famed animator Ralph Bakshi tends to be best known for racier material like his classics Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic, in 1988 he wrote and directed a half-hour holiday TV special called Christmas in Tattertown. It used to run every year on Nickelodeon in the 1990s (indeed, this YouTube video was taken from a Nickelodeon broadcast).

The plot is none too easy to discern, but it has something to do with a little girl who is transported, Alice in Wonderland-style, to a strange, run-down jazzy urban landscape known as Tattertown, which is redolent of the 1930s. Once there, she interacts with dilapidated toys and explains to the discarded playthings what Christmas is (they have never heard of it).

Some of the elements here are familiar from other places—the general mise-en-scene is reminiscent of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, while the talking toys can’t help but remind us of Toy Story. Meanwhile, Inside Out, the recent Pixar hit, featured a memorable character named Bing Bong who wouldn’t be out of place here.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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12.19.2016
09:47 am
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Christmas ornaments featuring Morrissey, Bowie, Adam Ant, Nick Cave, Siouxsie and more


 
This charming set of Christmas ornaments does a wonderful job of letting everyone in your circle know that you love St. Nick—and that the “Nick” in question is Nick Cave. Matthew Lineham designed them, and he’s done a wonderful job of working in “obscure Christmas memories and puns,” as he put it.

Many of his “obscure” references involve network Christmas programming from many decades ago. Siouxsie Sioux is transformed into Cindy Lou Who, the little girl from Whoville in Dr. Seuss’ classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Morrissey plays the part of “Snow Mozzer” and “Heat Mozzer,” the memorable characters from the 1974 stop-motion animated Christmas TV special from Rankin/Bass, The Year Without a Santa Claus. Former Oingo Boingo frontman and soundtrack maestro Danny Elfman appears as “Elfman on the Shelfman,” a reference to the 2004 children’s book The Elf on the Shelf. Robert Smith is perched atop Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and DEVO‘s familiar energy dome is cleverly done up as a Christmas tree.

Lineham calls the set “A Very New Wave Christmas” but he has sensibly gone where the name-puns and name recognition will take him rather than obey strict genre definitions. Bowie and Cave might not be your idea of “new wave” icons but they were active in the early 1980s, at least.

You can buy the rubber die cut bendable ornaments for $10 a pop (“Mozzer” pair $15), or $50 for the entire set, a significant discount. However, due to the unexpectedly high demand, Lineham wants purchasers to be aware that any ornaments ordered today will be shipped “sometime between Dec 21st & 31st,” so don’t bank on them being available for this year’s tree—however, there’s always 2017, 2018, 2019, and beyond to think of. These seem unlikely to go out of style anytime soon.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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11.30.2016
09:56 am
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Kristmas with the Kinks, 1977
12.23.2015
01:16 pm
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Who says the Germans have no sense of humor? Here we have the Kinks weighing in with an energetic rendition of “Father Christmas”; it appeared on the German TV show Plattenküche (Record Kitchen) on December 15, 1977, and it’s punctuated by the kind of jokes that used to appear on Laugh-In, Hee-Haw, you name it.

I don’t really understand what the fellow next to Mick Avory (as Santa Claus) says at the very start. For that matter I don’t really understand what Avory is saying either. The other guy ends by saying (I think), “And now our hair’s gonna grow.”

The first time the boss says, “Turn on the snow!” so the employee says, “Snow. OK.” The second time the boss is obviously calling for his employee, apparently named “Nagel” (German for “nail”), for more snow. To his credit, the boss afterwards thanks Nagel for a job well done.
 

 
A bit later, the guy says to the gal, “Have you seen the weather report? I hope it won’t be fog,” to which the gal says, “It doesn’t look good, Norbert. The barometer is falling!” (Bonk.)

The next bit isn’t easy to follow, it’s VERY loose. The boss says that the two guys resemble Starsky and Hutch, and the two guys laugh sarcastically. As the blond guy peers into his mug of smoky grog, he references “a new invention from Holland,” and the boss says, “Here’s how I imagine it. Here is the turntable and here [matchbox] is the female singer. ... It has to look like that!” I’m going to guess that some of this was a callback to other stuff in the episode.

You ever notice what a weird, almost bleak song “Father Christmas” is? Santa gets beaten up by some punks! The Steve Austin reference is a nice 1970s touch, though:
 

When I was small I believed in Santa Claus
Though I knew it was my dad
And I would hang up my stocking at Christmas
Open my presents and I’d be glad

But the last time I played Father Christmas
I stood outside a department store
A gang of kids came over and mugged me
And knocked my reindeer to the floor

They said,
“Father Christmas, give us some money.
Don’t mess around with those silly toys.
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over.
We want your bread so don’t make us annoyed.
Give all the toys to the little rich boys.

Don’t give my brother a Steve Austin outfit.
Don’t give my sister a cuddly toy.
We don’t want a jigsaw or Monopoly money.
We only want the Real McCoy.

Father Christmas, give us some money.
We’ll beat you up if you make us annoyed.
Father Christmas, give us some money.
Don’t mess around with those silly toys.

But give my daddy a job ‘cause he needs one.
He’s got lots of mouths to feed.
But if you’ve got one I’ll have a machine gun.
So I can scare all the kids on the street.

Father Christmas, give us some money.
We got no time for your silly toys.
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over.
Give all the toys to the little rich boys.

Have yourself a Merry, Merry Christmas.
Have yourself a good time.
But remember the kids who got nothin’.
While you’re drinkin’ down your wine.

Father Christmas, give us some money.
We got no time for your silly toys.
Father Christmas, please hand it over.
We’ll beat you up so don’t make us annoyed.

Father Christmas, give us some money.
We got no time for your silly toys.
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over.
We want your bread so don’t make us annoyed.
Give all the toys to the little rich boys.”

 
In the Plattenküche clip, Avory is the only one of the Kinks with a Santa Claus costume, but in this other video, the entire gang is dressed up like Santa.
 

 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The Kinks tear it up on German TV, 1965
Was The Kinks’ ‘Dead End Street’ promo film the world’s first ‘concept’ music video?

Posted by Martin Schneider
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12.23.2015
01:16 pm
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Vintage photos of what it was like to spend Christmas in jail
12.22.2015
09:33 am
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The
The “Rock Islanders” prison band of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, 1940s

As full of joy and merriment as the holidays can be, unless you are completely out of touch with reality, Christmas isn’t always a happy time of year for a lot of folks. I mean, all you have to do is look around you to figure that one out. Of course, it probably doesn’t get much worse than spending the holidays in the clink.
 
Christmas morning in the
Christmas morning in the “drunk tank” in Downtown Los Angeles, 1952
 
Some of the images that follow date all the way back to the early 1900s and while a few of them are rather grim, there are many that actually show inmates in a seemingly jovial mood despite their jail-bound circumstances. Such as the one of an inmate at the Orange County Jail playing Santa with a mop on his head and a newspaper hat. Count your blessings, Dangerous Minds readers: It could always be worse.
 
Prisoners at the District Jail Washington, DC in 1909
Prisoners at the District Jail in Washington, D.C., 1909
 
Inmates at the Raymond Street Jail, Brooklyn New York, 1932
Inmates celebrating Christmas at the Raymond Street Jail, Brooklyn New York, 1932
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.22.2015
09:33 am
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Iggy Pop wishes you a ‘White Christmas’!
12.21.2015
03:53 pm
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It’s a challenge to picture Iggy Pop chilling out next to an open fire savoring a snifter of eggnog, but versatile Iggy, that’s more or less who showed up to sing on his cover of “White Christmas,” the Irving Berlin Christmas classic mostly associated with Bing Crosby.

In fact, Bing’s version is reputed to be the biggest-selling single of all time, or at least it once was. Is it fair to say that one can hear Bing’s influence in Iggy’s gravelly and super-slow rendition?
 

 
Information on these recordings is hard to come by, but there’s also a fuzzed-out iteration, lovingly dubbed the “Guitar Stooge Version,” that appeared on a 2013 comp from Cleopatra Records called Psych-Out Christmas that also features holiday tracks by the Fuzztones, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, and Dead Meadow. It also appeared on a Cleopatra box set of Iggy singles called Gimme Some Skin that looks pretty tasty.
 
“White Christmas”:

 
“White Christmas (Guitar Stooge Mix)”:

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
A Bing Crosby death metal Christmas

Posted by Martin Schneider
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12.21.2015
03:53 pm
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Fear & Loathing at Christmas: Watch Dr. Hunter S. Thompson burn his Christmas tree
12.18.2015
04:16 pm
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When TIME magazine writer Sam Allis visited Dr. Hunter S. Thompson at home in Colorado in January of 1990, during his visit the good doctor decided that he wanted to set his discarded Christmas tree ablaze. He told Deborah Fuller, his loyal secretary of two decades: “Let’s give the journalist a memorable experience to write about. He needs to learn how to burn the creosote out of a chimney. We can’t run the risk of a chimney fire during the year.”

Of course not!

Here’s Allis’ account of what happened:

“I gave up on the interview and started worrying about my life when Hunter Thompson squirted two cans of fire starter on the Christmas tree he was going to burn in his living-room fireplace, a few feet away from an unopened wooden crate of 9-mm bullets. That the tree was far too large to fit into the fireplace mattered not a whit to Hunter, who was sporting a dime-store wig at the time and resembled Tony Perkins in Psycho. Minutes earlier, he had smashed a Polaroid camera on the floor.”

Hunter had decided to videotape the Christmas tree burning, and we later heard on the replay the terrified voices of Deborah Fuller, his longtime secretary-baby sitter, and me off-camera pleading with him, “NO, HUNTER, NO! PLEASE, HUNTER, DON’T DO IT!” The original manuscript of Hell’s Angels was on the table, and there were the bullets. Nothing doing. Thompson was a man possessed by now, full of the Chivas Regal he had been slurping straight from the bottle and the gin he had been mixing with pink lemonade for hours.

Wayne Ewing, the director of Breakfast with Hunter wrote a delightful secondhand account of what had happened that evening on his Hunter Thompson Films blog:

Of course, there’s a fine line between burning the creosote out of a chimney and starting a creosote fire that burns at 2100 Degrees Fahrenheit and sounds like a jet airplane taking off just before it explodes through the sides of your chimney and burns down a log cabin style house like Owl Farm.

In preparation, Deborah gathered all the fire extinguishers in the living room, while Hunter set up a video camera since I wasn’t there to shoot it. (I was back East, finishing a TV special for NBC News with Tom Brokaw called The New Hollywood. Believe me, Hunter was a hell of a lot more interesting to hang out with than Tom Brokaw, but as they say in show business: “Theater is life. Film is art. TV is rent.”)

Visitors to Owl Farm usually came in search of an experience with Hunter that would make a good story whether they were journalists or fans, and Hunter always delivered. But, the story wasn’t necessarily what they expected. In this case, Hunter got more than he bargained for as well; you can see how desperately he pokes at the burning Christmas tree, trying to contain the raging fire. The heavy wooden mantle still has the burn marks to this day.

Before he put the tree in the fireplace, there was a small fire burning already. The mass of the tree almost snuffed out the first fire when he jammed it in, so Hunter threatened to splash lighter fluid on it. In the original video, you can barely hear Deborah and Allen [he means Sam Allis] screaming, “NO, HUNTER DON’T DO IT” above the Cowboy Junkies playing “Misguided Angel” at maximum volume over the array of living room speakers.

Hunter gets a bit of lighter fluid onto the tree, and then throws a match after it, creating the conflagration you see in the film and then in the aftermath below. The flames were coming out of the top of the chimney in a four foot cone of fire, like the exhaust of a jet engine. Hunter, Deborah and Allen retreated to the front porch where Hunter taped the inferno with pride. No one remembered to carry out the manuscript of the latest book in progress which was lying on the living room table.

Thompson’s Owl Creek home has hardly changed in the years since his death and his widow, Anita Thompson is planning to turn the property into a museum.

You’ve read the story, now watch the video…
 

 
Via Open Culture/Gothamist/Hunter Thompson Films

Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.18.2015
04:16 pm
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A treasury of Bettie Page Christmas memories - NSFW
12.10.2015
08:02 am
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With her coy smile hiding as many secrets as the Mona Lisa and her iconic bangs which are still emulated by wanna-be pin-up queens the world over, Bettie Page was and is America’s Sweetheart.

Here’s a Christmas treat, just like Grandpa used to peep out in the shed on a cold Winter’s day: a gallery of lowbrow art photographs from the mid-20th Century depicting Bettie, celebrating the most wonderful time of the year.

God bless us, each and every one.
 

 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Christopher Bickel
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12.10.2015
08:02 am
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There’s a ‘Hipster Santa’ in Portland, Oregon
12.08.2015
09:36 am
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Perhaps one of the dumbest culture-related things I’ve spotted so far this week—it’s ONLY Tuesday, tho—is the “Hipster Santa” as seen in a Portland, Oregon shopping mall. “Hipster Santa” sports stupid hipster hair, skinny black jeans, Ray-Ban eyewear, a Big Lebowski-style sweater, corresponds with a typewriter and rides a bike instead of a sleigh. The only thing that’s missing is his collection of holiday classics in vinyl. Where the fuck is Santa’s vinyl?!

Can we make this official by retiring “hipster” and “man bun” anything? It’s just not funny anymore. It hasn’t been funny in years. It’s about as “hilarious” as the official office “ugly Christmas sweater” party. Let’s mark this as the final nail in the coffin and kill the meme. Douse it in kerosene and throw the match. I demand it.

 
via The World’s Best Ever

Posted by Tara McGinley
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12.08.2015
09:36 am
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Turd-related Christmas traditions of the Catalans
12.08.2015
08:50 am
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Each December 8th, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, families in the Catalonian region of Spain bring out Tió de Nadal or Caga Tió  (which means “shitting log”). The log is painted with a smiling face and stands on two tiny stick legs.
 

 
Every night until the 24th, as tradition dictates, the children are instructed to give the tió a little bite to “eat” and cover him with a blanket to keep him warm and cozy. On Christmas Eve, the tió is placed partly under his blanket and the children order it to defecate. The children beat the log with sticks, while singing the Tió de Nadal song, in order to make it shit presents.

Parents place presents under the log’s blanket while the children close their eyes and pray for the really good shit.

The children’s song to Caga Tió is absolutely adorable:

“Caga tió,
caga torró,
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
caga tió!”

Translated:

shit, log,
shit nougats,
hazelnuts and mató cheese,
if you don’t shit well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
shit, log!

Here are some children getting very excited for the poop bounty they are about to receive:
 

 
Logs of different sizes are used by the parents to simulate the log “growing” from the food given to it by the children. It teaches the children a valuable lesson about caring for and nurturing something just before you literally beat the shit out of it with a stick on Christmas.
 

 
Coaxing turds from Caga Tió is a wonderful Christmas custom, but not the only scatalogical Catalonian tradition. Even more popular and beloved is the Caganer, whose name literally translates to “the crapper” or “the shitter”. The Caganer is a figurine, traditionally in peasant garb, who is bent over and taking a dump. This figurine is placed among the other figures in the Nativity Scene. The figure is hidden away in the Nativity and the children are instructed to try and find the Caganer.
 

Traditional Caganer
 
It’s not known for certain why the pooping character has been added to the Nativity, but it seems to have been around since at least the 18th Century. Some claim that the character represents fertilization of the Earth and others believe the Caganer represents “the spoil-sport we all have within us.” No one is really sure, but the character maintains a massive popularity despite some governmental attempts to ban the public display.

The Caganer statuettes are sometimes fashioned in the likeness of well-known figures from pop culture or politics.
 

 
The Caganer is very popular with children. What child doesn’t want a little pooping guy coloring book? Finally a good use for that brown crayon! There’s also a sort of Where’s Waldo—if Waldo was a little shitter.

The Catalonians love that little crappin’ dude.

The following celebrity Caganers can be obtained via Caganer.com:
 

Caganer Dali
 
More after the dump er… jump, sorry…

READ ON
Posted by Christopher Bickel
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12.08.2015
08:50 am
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Behold the evil glory of the Baphomet, Krampus and Cthulhu tree toppers!
12.07.2015
08:48 am
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Baphomet glass tree topper
Baphomet glass tree topper
 
The good folks over at Middle of Beyond have a pretty sweet collection of anti-Christmas decorations—but nothing says “fuck jolly old St. Nick” quite like a glass Baphomet or Cthulhu tree topper. Ah, being on the the naughty list really is the best
 
Cthulhu glass tree topper
Cthulhu glass tree topper
 
Little Baphomet and this cutie Cthulhu are both 7.5 inches high and will run you $19.99 (which if you flip the nines around is $16.66, nice one Middle of Beyond). There are also a few other notable and refreshingly evil Christmas ornaments in MOB’s shop such as a variety of Krampus designs and a glass-blown homage to Room 237, the mythical room at the Overlook Hotel in Stanely Kubrick’s The Shining that gave the fascinating 2012 documentary film, Room 237 its title.
 

‘The Shining’ hotel key glass ornament
 

Glass Krampus devil tree topper

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Cthulhu fhtagn: 2016’s ‘Lovecraftiana Calendar’ makes an eldritch Christmas gift

Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.07.2015
08:48 am
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Mama Weer all Christmazee Now: Season’s greetings from Slade
12.25.2014
12:42 pm
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I love Slade so much. While a lot of the ‘70s glam movement’s extra-musical lexicon emphasized the trashed elegance of the beautiful, untouchable, rock-star-on-a-pedestal figure (basically the Ziggy Stardust template), Slade were unabashedly lumpen, ugly cusses embracing a joyous buttrock stomp and bare-knuckle production values. This wasn’t a rejection of glamor, but a livelier embrace of it, and a roadmap for how the proles could join in the fun, bringing it all down to Earth even as their guitarist dressed up like a spaceman.

Apart from their music and their abundant love of plaid, Slade were known for goofy misspellings in their song titles—“Mama Weer all Crazee Now,” “Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me,” “Look Wot You Dun,” and my favorite of their songs, “Gudbuy T’Jane.” After the band slipped into decline in the late ‘70s, they experienced a sudden, unexpected early ‘80s US breakout when the L.A. pop-metal band Quiet Riot had a huge out-of-nowhere hit with a totally half-assed cover of “Cum On Feel the Noize,” which sold well enough to make them the first heavy metal band to score a US #1 album. This in turn drove a renewed interest in Slade themselves, who by then had jettisoned their tartan-and-lamé glam trappings in favor of a broader hard-rock approach, which actually did goose their UK success. Their 1983 album Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome was re-released in the US under the title Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply, which, on the backs of the incredibly fun single “Run Runaway” and the obligatory power ballad “My Oh My,” became Slade’s first and only US top-40 LP.

So it’s astonishing that Slade’s single biggest song has never been especially well known in the US. In 1973, the band threw its mirrored top hat into the Christmas music ring—and why the hell not? If your holiday song connects, you’re looking at mailbox money every winter in perpetuity, it’s a career triumph and retirement fund stuffer second only to penning a sports arena anthem. The affable “Merry X’Mas Everybody” is a perennial holiday favorite in England, and has been in the UK top 40 more than ten times, but, bafflingly, was never released as a single in the US, even at the band’s height. It can be found on Slade’s 1985 holiday cash-in Crackers and the 2011 4-disc Slade Box, an anthology covering the band’s beginnings as a ‘60s skinhead outfit to the end of its original lineup in the early ‘90s.

This video is cobbled together from several of the surely zillions of times the band mimed the song on British TV. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and to everyone else, enjoy the long weekend!
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds
Slade: proto punk heroes of glam rock

Posted by Ron Kretsch
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12.25.2014
12:42 pm
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