Grace Jones and Rick James at the Grammy Awards, 1983
One of my really awful guilty pleasures (I also love the band Rush, but I don’t judge and neither should you), is watching awards shows. I know, I know, they’re stupid, and that my street cred just went out to the dumpster to smoke cigarettes with Milli Vanilli. I’m okay with that.
Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith of the Monkees at the Grammy Awards, 1968. The band was up for two awards for “I’m a Believer” (Group Vocal Performance and Contemporary Vocal Group), but lost both times to The Fifth Dimension’s “Up Up and Away.”
It does not get much cooler than this: Alice Cooper and Stevie Wonder at the Grammy Awards, 1974
Plenty more classic Grammy moments after the jump…
The tireless archivists at Retrospace are truly doing the Lord’s work with their amazing library of vintage magazine scans—check out these ridiculous early arcade game ads! To be fair, video game graphics were so crude at that point, it probably felt impossible to entice potential players using only the pixels of the game itself. Still, they really had a hard time (heh) divining the erotic potential from those massive things. Some of them barely make sense—why is a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader (knock-off?) trying to sell Strike Zone? They aren’t even the same sport!
On some level, I appreciate the crudest ones most of all, and the Shark Attack ad comes out ahead on that one. (A disembodied ass? “Thrust and Munch?” Seriously?) On the other hand, attempts to keep it classy are even more hilarious. There’s been a little moral panic around arcade games since pinball was invented. To concerned parents, all change-devouring consoles smacked of gambling and juvenile delinquency. I assume the more wholesome—dare I sat “classier?”—ads were an effort to brand video games as harmless fun. How that translates to twins in prom dresses, I do not know, but hey, I do kind of want to play Deep Scan now!
Many more ‘sexy’ vintage video game ads after the jump…
David Greenfield has amassed a collection of records from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Japan which are all available for purchase online. I liked going through his collections from the 60s and 70s. It’s a great resource for loopy graphic design inspiration!
RCA Victor introduces “a miracle,” their Orthophonic, high-fidelity, home stereo sound system.
Bob Banks, one-time RCA Victor marketing manager of radio sales and their Victrola division, narrates this short film introducing the RCA’s new “living stereo” records and stereophonic hi-fi gear. The year was 1958, ground zero for the birth of the “space age bachelor pad” as my pal Byron Werner so famously dubbed it.
The demonstration utilizes left and right-hand sections of orchestra married together to create the fullness of “living stereo” and gives you a stereo stylus’s POV as it travels across a record groove (“a canyon of sound!”). If you are a vinyl fan, it’s pretty fun and informative.
In Flagranti are a dance production duo consisting of Alex Gloor and Sasha Crnobrnja. who have been releasing records on labels like RVNG and Gomma for the best part of a decade. Their use of naggingly familiar disco samples combined with some old school analog electro synths has brought them a very loyal following all over the world, and seen them gain support from disparate scenes such as disco, Cosmic and electro-house.
But it’s not just about the music with these guys - Alex Gloor is also a very talented visual artist, and In Flagranti are as well known for their sleeves and videos as they are for their sounds. Making heavy use of vintage soft core porn imagery, the band have made accompanying videos for many of their tracks, and their upcoming album Worse For Wear (Codek Records) is no different. For these new tunes Gloor has hit a rich stream of found footage documenting the seedier side of New York in the late Seventies and early Eighties, featuring a lot of street kids, porno shop fronts and pissed off looking taxi drivers. Also featured in various videos are the Jonestown massacre, the infamous Ugly George cable TV show, and security footage of a bank robbery.
While definitely coming from the “club” side of visual montage, this isn’t full of annoying strobe editing and cheap computer graphics. Editing is in fact kept to a minimum and the visuals (in tandem with the music) are allowed to do all the talking themselves. My favorite clip is the appropriately titled “On The Fringe”, which features some battered and bruised looking street kids. I wonder where they are now?
“On The Fringe” and the rest of the album are all after the jump, but in the meantime to whet your appetite here’s “Latter Day Methods” (ft Ugly George) and the Worse For Wear album promo clip. You can buy Worse For Wearhere (so far it’s only available in the States on import) and there is more info on In Flagranti here.
In Flagranti - Worse For Wear album teaser 3
In Flagranti - “Latter-Day Methods”
After the jump the complete Worse For Wear videos.