Replacements At A Turning Point

Here’s a great 32-year-old article from SPIN’s archives, from around the time that I was getting into them. (Yes, I was late to the party and had to work my way back through the Twin/Tone albums.) The band had just parted ways with manager Pete Jesperson, fired lead guitarist Bob Stinson, and released one of their best albums, Pleased To Meet Me. Recorded right here in Memphis!

“When we started,” [Westerberg] says, pausing to sip from a midmorning Schmidt, “we definitely had a fear of success. We had a fear of everything. We were all very paranoid, and I think that goes hand in hand with the excessive drinking thing. We’d get drunk because we were basically scared shitless, and that snowballed into image. Now we’re a little more assured of what we’re doing. We’re not positive which way we’re going, but we think we know what mistakes lie ahead, and we’re trying to sidestep ‘em.”

Full article here.

Ill Communication Is 25

This is worth a look.

‘Still Ill: 25 Years of the Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication’ features Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz diving deep into the making of the band’s epic 1994 album – and, arguably, one of their high points as artists and generational touchstones. The 15-minute documentary tracks the Beastie Boys’ rejuvenation in the years after the release of 1989’s Paul’s Boutique – now considered a masterpiece but at the time a commercial flop – first with 1992’s Check Your Head and ultimately with Ill Communication, which produced the epic single and music video “Sabotage” and returned them to playing arenas.

Featuring interviews with Diamond and Horovitz from this March in Austin, Texas — as well as new interviews with keyboardist Mark “Money Mark” Nishita and producer Mario Caldato and rarely-seen 1990s footage of the band – Still Ill focuses heavily on late Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch and his contributions to Ill Communication. Through footage and the words of his friends, the documentary captures Yauch’s journey into activism, which would blossom with the Tibetan Freedom Concerts later in the decade, as well as his famous denunciation of misogyny in hip-hop on the single “Sure Shot”: “I want to say a little something that’s long overdue / The disrespect to women has got to be through / To all the mothers and sisters and the wives and friends / I want to offer my love and respect to the end.”

In Search Of In Search Of

Anybody remember this series from the Seventies? I used to scare myself silly watching it on Saturday afternoons as a kid. This episode (Killer Bees!) in particular freaked me out. I was convinced we only had months to live.

Entries about Bigfoot, The Bermuda Triangle, and UFOs also left an impression. And that theme song is the shit!

Other episodes here.

Abandoned Homes On Billionaires Row

This is bonkers.

Inside billionaires Row, London’s rotting derelict mansions worth 350 million pound a third of the mansions on the most expensive stretch of London’s “billionaires row” are standing empty several huge mansions have fallen into ruin after being abandoned for a quarter of a century.
I explored all that I could wear such risky explore.

Well Are You?

I had this poster when I was a kid, only recently discovering that it was created by Tom Shadyac, the director who now lives in Memphis. We ran into him at [REDACTED] when we were buying tile for our bathroom remodel. Small fucking world.

Remember the poster Are You A Preppie? It was printed in 1979 by University of Virginia undergrad Tom Shadyac, who went on to film school at UCLA and later directed Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Evan Almighty. The poster was wildly popular when it came out. I have to wonder whether it might have inspired Lisa Birnbach’s more in-depth anthropological treatment in The Official Preppy Handbook, which appeared one year later.

The Art Of Mort Künstler

Here’s some more incredibly manly paintings for you rugged bastards!

From Design You Can Trust

Mort Künstler is best known today for his vivid paintings of scenes from American history, specifically the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. These works have been featured in books and calendars, and spotlighted in exhibitions around the country.

Less known is Künstler’s early work in men’s adventure magazines, a unique genre that populated newsstands from the 1950s through the late ‘70s. Also known as “men’s sweats,” because most covers featured a sweaty, shirtless guy facing some type of peril, scores of adventure titles vied for a reader’s attention with eye-popping headlines such as “Death Orgy of the Leopard Women” and “Weasels Ripped My Flesh!”

Vintage Star Wars Toy Auction … What

Check it out, you magnificent bastards!

A massive treasure trove of vintage Star Wars and pop culture toys and collectible ephemera are going on auction at the end of this month, and the folks at Prop Store bring a few of the rarities to our studio. We learn about prototype mockups, international figures, and even retail display pieces that would be the prize pieces for toy collectors.

All those toys you lost or destroyed that are now worth thousands of dollars? Look for ’em here.

My Moebius Obsession

Besides creating a shitload of brain-melting comics, Moebius (Jean Giraud) contributed storyboards and concept designs to numerous science fiction and fantasy films, including Alien, Tron, The Fifth Element and The Abyss. I’ve been on a big Moebius kick lately, and I’ve settled on “The Long Tomorrow” to share with you bastards.

According to the man himself …

I drew “The Long Tomorrow” in 1975, while I worked with Alexandro Jodorowsky on a film adaption of “Dune.” Originally Douglas Trumbull was to do the special effects, but that was not to be so Jodorowsky hired Dan O’Bannon to replace him. Dan came to Paris. Bearded, dressed in a wild style, the typical Californian post-hippie. His real work would begin at the time of shooting, on the models, on the hardware props. As we were still in the stage of preparations and concepts, there was almost nothing to do and he was bored stiff. To kill time, he drew. Dan is best known as a script writer, but is an excellent cartoonist. If he had wished, he could have been a professional graphic artist. One day, he showed me what he was drawing. It was the story board of “The Long Tomorrow.” A classic police story, but situated in the future. I was enthusiastic. When Europeans try this kind of parody, it is never entirely satisfactory, the French are too French, the Italians are too Italian … so, under my nose was a pastiche that was more original than the originals. A believer in parody, Dan continued that tradition. As the story was very strong, I immediately asked if he would allow me to play around graphically, with complete freedom, without conventional pyrotechnics, to refocus on the floating point of view. Pete Club’s costume, for example, was almost ridiculous, far from the traditional raincoat of Bogart. It was the same for most of the visual elements. I scrupulously followed Dan’s story. One day I wish we could publish our two versions side by side. As the strip has pleased everyone, I asked Dan about a sequel, but it did not get his attention, so was simply an adventure I never designed.

This story heavily influenced everyone from writer William Gibson (Neuromancer) to Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) to George Lucas (Empire Strikes Back). If the launchpad sentinel looks familiar to Star Wars fans, it’s because Lucas lifted its design in toto for the probe droid. O’Bannon did a ton of stuff later on, but is perhaps best-known for writing Alien and directing Return of the Living Dead.

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Welcome To The Basement

Anybody ever heard of it? These guys are goofy fun (and bad teeth) personified. This episode features one of my all-time favorite cult classics: Phantom of the Paradise. Make that my all-time favorite cult classic. I have to watch it at least once a year, much to my wife’s disgust. And don’t even get me started on the soundtrack. Pure GOLD.

“Welcome To The Basement” is a show about watching, discussing and having fun with movies. Matt choses the movie and Craig doesn’t know what it is until the cameras start rolling, so none of the discussion or riffing is planned ahead of time.

A cinematic odyssey through the rock universe?