I’ve been binging on documentaries lately, and this looks like another good one. I got into the VU around the same time I was getting into R.E.M., so it was kind of like listening to the student and the teacher at the same time. I mean these guys, and Nico + Warhol, were pretty out there, but they put together some good records.
I never really was big on Lou Reed solo, in fact, my dumb ass didn’t even know he was in the VU until a few years later.
WARNING: Some of the artwork featured in this interview is inappropriate for the work environment. (You know, pee-pees and whatnot.)
From Fritz the Cat to Mr. Natural – meet the cult cartoonist Robert Crumb, whose artistic world is full of anti-heroes and demons from modern America and his own subconscious. In this rare interview, Crumb talks frankly about refusing to adhere to political correctness, and about his never-ending urge to unravel the layers of delusion in the world – as he says: “I’m still digging.”
Ontario-based artist Miguel Vasquez seeks to distort our feelings about these cartoon characters with some reality twists. He creates realistic renditions of famous cartoon characters that might even disturb you.
I completely missed this one when it aired. I don’t remember hearing about it at all. A little sad, by ’79 the Ramones should have been too big for the Sha Na Na show.
But I did happen to be watching the tube in ’68 when psychedelic proto-punks The Seeds (as The Warts) mimed their biggest hit, the classic pushy-girlfriend-fuck-off song, “Pushin’ to Hard” on a now-forgotten sitcom called The Mothers-in-Law. I bought the album soon after. Oddly enough, that album had been released two years earlier, and they’d released another since, but they were still pushin’ this song on TV. The second verse and guitar break were edited out.
Compared to most of Kubrick’s other films, A Clockwork Orange was down and dirty, shot on the cheap. Here are actual locations and a few other goodies. This YouTuber really does his research.
How do you make a futuristic sci-fi movie without building a bunch of crazy sets? In this episode, we take a look at the real futuristic locations and artwork that Stanley Kubrick used for the production design of 1971’s A Clockwork Orange as well as some of the new technology Kubrick used in shooting and recording sound on-location.
The RNRHF just released a bunch of clips from this year’s induction ceremony. As you bastards may or may not remember, I don’t give two shits about that ridiculous institution, but it did give us this performance. The Cure still sounds amazing live, and Robert Smith is promising a new Cure album this year.
The clip below is included only for his good-natured sarcasm, which made me laugh. I’m sure she meant well …
Recently discovered Beatles-obsessed YouTube channel makes me happy. (See previous post.) Here’s the story behind “Hey Bulldog.”
The Beatles’ “Hey Bulldog” has become a revered rocker in recent years, but that wasn’t always the case.
Although it first surfaced on the fairly unpopular Yellow Submarine LP in 1969, it has since appeared seemingly everywhere – from handpicked compilations of the band’s best rock songs, to the Rock Band video game.
From its fairly simple recording in one day to its rise as a not-so-deep track, this video offers a comprehensive look at the now-classic Lennon tune.
Love it or hate it, every serious music nerd should hear this strange album once. A Wizard, A True Star was released in ’73 when I was 15, and I soon became addicted (which might explain some things), although some of it annoyed me and still does. This mash-up of prog, pop, and blue-eyed soul might be the densest, most overly over-dubbed album in history. There is literally zero space unfilled. Because of that, there is almost always something interesting going on, even if the song itself isn’t good. Side one is a medley of song fragments, sort of like side two of Abbey Road produced by a crazier Brian Wilson with access to synthesisers (unfortunately, there’s not a gapless version on YouTube). The medley sometimes gets cartoonish. A portion of side two is a medley of Motown covers, which has always seemed a bit random to me. That said, there are plenty of addictive hooks throughout. Highlights for me are “International Feel” (and its recapitulation, “Le Feel Internacionale,” which ended side 1), “When the Shit Hits the Fan/Sunset Boulevard,” “Sometimes I don’t Know What to Feel,” and “Just One Victory.” The anthemic quality of “Just One Victory” can get annoying, and it’s too long, but it has some great melodic and harmonic twists and turns.
I think Todd was trying to blow up his status as an AM radio pop artist. The previous year he’d had a commercially successful album, Something/Anything?, which was mostly straight-ahead pop ballads and rockers: it contained “Slut,” often covered by Big Star, as well as the power-pop classic, “Couldn’t I Just Tell You.” Something/Anything also yielded a couple of big AM hits, the piano-driven “I Saw the Light” and “Hello It’s Me,” that made some people see him as kind of a male Carole King. I’m guessing that didn’t sit well with him, so he went all-out weird for A Wizard, A True Star. I’m sure there were hallucinogens involved as well. It didn’t sell nearly as well as its predecessor. Fun fact: the month after this album came out, he produced the New York Dolls’ first album.
So what to make of TR? He was a highly talented multi-intrumentalist and producer, a true master of the studio, and a pioneer of power-pop and prog. When everything clicked, he could be a very good songwriter. But he lacked self-censorship. Something/Anything? is a double ablum with way too much filler. It could have been a much better single album. As for AWizard, A True Star, he really needed to rein in some of the self-indulgent goofiness. He produced all his own albums, even playing all instruments on many tracks. He just occasionally needed someone to say “no.” In that regard, he was like an American version of The Move’s Roy Wood, who had the same issues. That may not have been a coincidence. The Move regularly covered “Open My Eyes,” originally by TR’s 60’s band, The Nazz. And the first time I ever heard The Move’s “Do Ya” was TR covering it live.