Marianne Joan Elliott-Said (3 July 1957 – 25 April 2011), known by the stage name Poly Styrene, was a British musician, singer-songwriter, and frontwoman for the punk rock band X-Ray Spex.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
MC5: A True Testimonial is a 2002 feature-length documentary film about the MC5, a Detroit-based rock band of the 1960s and early 1970s. The film was produced by Laurel Legler and directed by David C. Thomas; the couple spent more than seven years working on the project. Although the MC5 are considered very influential today, they were relatively obscure in their time.
To make the film, Thomas collected photographs and film clips of varying quality, including U.S. government surveillance footage of the MC5's performance at the protests that took place outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He interviewed the surviving members of the band and people closely associated with it. In the editing room, Thomas matched the band's recordings to the silent footage he had collected.
MC5: A True Testimonial made its premiere on August 22, 2002, at the Chicago Underground Film Festival. Three weeks later it made its international premiere on September 11 at the Toronto International Film Festival. In November of that year, the film was awarded an "Honorable Mention" as a debut feature at the Raindance Film Festival.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Friday, April 29, 2016
Musical documentary on the free concert at Altamont Speedway near San Francisco in early December 1969. The event was all but destroyed by violence that marked the end of the peace and love euphoria of the 1960s. The night began smoothly, with the supercharged Flying Burrito Brothers opening up for the Rolling Stones and performing the truck-driving classic "Six Days on the Road" and Tina Turner giving a sensually charged performance. But on this particular evening, the Stones made the fateful (and disastrous) decision to hire the Oakland chapter of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang as bodyguards and bouncers. It was a foolhardy, careless choice that turned the night into an unmitigated disaster; halfway through the Stones' act, the Angels killed one black spectator, and injured several others who were present (including Jefferson Airplane's lead singer Marty Balin). In the film, we watch Mick Jagger -- ere an ebullient, charismatic performer of bisexual charm -- reduced to standing on stage like a frightened child with his finger in his mouth in wake of the violence. Unsurprisingly, the Grateful Dead refused to perform after the violence erupted; the picture ends on a despairing note, with the Stones repeatedly watching a film of the murder. Celebrated documentarians Albert and David Maysles directed and Haskell Wexler shot the film, with heightened instinct and control; as a result, this film is considered one of the greatest rock documentaries ever made. Stones songs performed include "Brown Sugar," "Under My Thumb," and "Sympathy for the Devil."
Friday, April 15, 2016
The first music video for the band Devo, directed by Chuck Statler. Filmed in May 1976, it contains two separate songs: "Secret Agent Man" and "Jocko Homo". It won First Prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 1977, and was routinely screened before Devo live concerts. It is included as an extra on the Criterion release of Island of Lost Souls.
The film begins with an extreme close-up of a television, switching between channels while odd gibberish noises play in the background. The film title is superimposed over the television screen.
The scene fades to a shot of a factory (filmed at the Goodyear World of Rubber in Akron, Ohio). Members of Devo in its quartet stage are seen in blue workmen's suits, operating machinery, until one notices it is time to go. All the band members wear clear face masks, except for Mark Mothersbaugh, who appears in his Booji Boy mask. The members leave work and get into a car. They pull up in front of the burned out Kent bar The Water Street Saloon which was two buildings down from JB's in Kent, Ohio. The next clip shows them entering the front door of JB's, carrying instruments. A sign on the door reads "Tonight: 15-60-75", a reference to The Numbers Band, which Gerald Casale played bass for at one point. The "Secret Agent Man" performance begins, featuring Bob Mothersbaugh on guitar, Gerald Casale on bass, Jim Mothersbaugh on electric bongos, and Mark Mothersbaugh/Booji Boy on synthesizers. The performance routinely cuts away to bizarre visuals, such as two men in monkey masks spanking a woman with ping-pong paddles, or a punk playing a double-neck guitar plugged into a space heater. The segment ends with a fadeout of Mark Mothersbaugh in a John F. Kennedy mask.
The "Jocko Homo" segment begins with Booji Boy running through a parking lot off of Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls. He enters a building through the fire escape to meet with General Boy. They exchange papers, and General Boy makes a statement: "In the past this information has been suppressed, but now it can be told. Every man, woman, and mutant on this planet shall know the truth about de-evolution." Booji replies with a famous line: "Oh, dad, we're all devo!"
A series of rapid-fire cuts of the letters in "DEVO" appears (with the music of "Mechanical Man" found on Hardcore Devo: Volume One), and then we cut to Mark Mothersbaugh in a Kent State University classroom (actually the Governance Chambers), delivering a lecture. As Motherbaugh delivers the lyrics to Jocko Homo, the classroom enters a frenzy of excitement, ending in a near riot.
The film ends with a scene of Booji Boy being stabbed and his mask removed. Then the credits play in a style similarly to the title with an extremely distorted cover of "Because" by The Beatles playing. The film ends with a shot of the word "DEVO" in neon flashing off.
Sunday, April 03, 2016
Rowland S. Howard - Guitar and Vocals,
Brian Hooper - Bass,
Mick Harvey - Drums,
Edward Clayton-Jones - Keyboard.
00:49 She Cried.
5:38 Dead Radio.
11:54 Exit Everything.
24:07 White Wedding.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Witness the last days of the Beat poet whose works would capture the very essence of the 1960 counter-cultural movement in an informative documentary featuring Allen Ginsberg's final television interview as well as remarkable deathbed footage shot by underground cinema icon Jonas Mekas. In addition to candid discussions about everything from Ginsberg's personal life to his literary career, home movie footage of the Howl author as a child and archive footage allow contemporary fans to witness such landmark moments as his 1965 reading at Royal Albert Hall and chanting at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Previously unreleased footage of Ginsberg performing with Paul McCartney is also included, as are interviews with Dick Cavett and William Buckley, and the heartfelt memorial service in which Patti Smith bid her old friend a particularly poignant farewell. In the final sequence, Ginsberg invites filmmaker Mekas to his New York loft as he lies on his deathbed and prepares to embark on the ultimate adventure.
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Camus's writing and thought describe a possible alternative. This is the alternative to so much of the contemporary social predicament, in which indolence, indifference and a resigned lethargy in the worship of technology are so often only countered by a corrupt nihilistic violence and a hatred of the Other. Witness the bombings, the consumption, the political demagogues fostering hatred and neglect of our fellow human beings, which are increasingly becoming the hallmarks of what passes for civilization and its discontents today. We are caught in a downward spiral as money and prestige are offered up as solutions, rather than symptoms. We must resist this catastrophe and re-invent the self, rebuild our relationships with each other and the state and exclude those that would see life as either a cynical exercise in satisfaction or in a bound filial duty to a non-existent God and his egotistical and hypocritical servants on earth ("a mire of tyranny or servitude" - "The Rebel") .
In the writings of Camus; "The Outsider", "The Myth of Sisyphus" and "The Fall" particularly (full PDF for each text from links), we can find an ethical strategy for making the bitter flax of post-modern life into a nonetheless difficult weave of individual spirit through a creative new pagan sensualism, that is sensitive to others and joyous of the self. I humbly suggest today, as we place our rampant greed before the basic laws of planetary survival and as people are increasingly turned into commodities as shoppers or surgically modified objects plugged into networks of information, that we have little choice but to listen to the absurd and the existential.
Friday, March 25, 2016
In order to prove self-nature to be inherently real we rely on sensual experience. This equation is not logical. In this video from 1989 Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo takes us on a journey into our assumptions of our nature and contrasts them with enlightened mind and supreme generosity. Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo is an enthroned tulku within the Palyul lineage of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In the late 1980s, she gained international attention as the first Western woman to be named a reincarnate lama.
The Buddha teaches that there is a nature that is the true nature that cannot be understood in terms of understanding 'something'. This nature is not contained within a conceptual, and therefore aberrant, framework. This nature as a state of awareness is not 'from something to something' it does not posit an object outside experience. It is an awareness that is free from ideation. There is not a specific subject and object within this state of awareness. It is not intellectual, nor is it emotional. There is no separation from it within it. Every thought we have about what supreme generosity should be about is based on our sole desire to prove self-nature. It is understood in such a way to cause us to believe generosity as a set of rules (like a moral code) that one has to follow in order to 'be generous'. Utilizing supreme generosity in that way makes for a lesser accomplishment. It is too superficial.