Ike and Tina Turner – “Baby – Get It On” (Live – 1975)

December 16, 2017 at 10:56 am (Music)

Live on The Midnight Special from 1975…


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The B-52’s – “Private Idaho” (Video – 1980)

December 13, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Music)

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Lou Reed – “Metal Machine Music” (1975)

December 3, 2017 at 11:59 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

John Rockwell’s June 20, 1975 New York Times review of Lou Reed’s infamous, forebidding Metal Machine Music album…

Lou Reed has an onstage image of off-the-wall instability, and it has served him well. His rock songs have always played with notions of treading a line—the line between sanity and insanity, the line between the sexes, the line between love and hate.

But one imagines that his latest record, a double album called Metal Machine Music, will convince many of his admirers that he has finally tripped over the line between outrageousness and sheer self-destructive indulgence. This is over an hour of screaming, steady-state electronic noise. Mr. Reed makes some reference in his mostly elliptical liner notes to heavy-metal rock, of which this is presumably some sort of abstraction. But the abstraction is so absolute that it will leave most rock fans gasping for air. Next to this, Kraftwerk sounds like Chuck Berry.

Actually, though, Mr. Reed’s latest musical experimentation is hardly unprecedented in the world of the classical avant-garde. Mr. Reed makes specific reference in his notes to La Monte Young (even if he does misspell the name); John Cale and others in the original Velvet Underground were close to Mr. Young, who has been turning out vaguely similar electronic music for years.

European composers like Iannis Xenakis have also produced analogous work (cf. Xenakis’s Bohor on Nonesuch Records), all of it seemingly constant in its sonic onslaught, but actually consisting of a myriad, of tiny overlapping layers of sound. The initial impact of Mr. Reed’s piece, not unsurprisingly, is of unrelieved anger. But just beneath the surface is a wealth of listenable detail. All of this sort of music is dismissed by some as a head trip, only properly produced and appreciated by members of a drug culture. Certainly Metal Machine Music won’t hurt the image Mr. Reed projects as a drug cultist.

It will be fascinating to see how this record is received. Clearly it won’t sell wildly; it’s too forbidding even for the sort of pop fan who is starting to buy the German space-rock records. But what will it do to Mr. Reed’s sales the next time he puts out a “real” rock record? He himself is clearly full of hostility about the whole problem of balancing his rock-star career with his need to experiment; his opaque notes, whatever else they tell us, certainly convey that tension.

One would like to see rock stars take the risk to stretch their art in ways that might jeopardize the affection of their fans. But one can’t help fearing that in this instance, Mr. Reed may have gone farther than his audience will willingly follow.

John Rockwell

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Caitlin Johnstone – “Strike the Drum of the Elephant God”

November 25, 2017 at 1:52 pm (Caitlin Johnstone, Poetry & Literature)

Place a jade crown upon the night sky, oh my daughter,
and a silver crown on each grain of sand beneath your feet.
Do not trust horny boys or polite politicians.
Trust only the hymn in your cells.
The path you must walk is as narrow as a zebra sword’s edge,
and it is slippery with grandmother tears.

Find the moss-covered elephant bone, oh my daughter,
on the sea cliff where I brought you into this world,
where my labor cries mixed with the waves and the whale songs.
Strike the drum of the Elephant God with the bone
to the rhythm of the hymn in your cells.

Strike the drum for the orphans of the Calliope Wars,
and for the corpses of angels swinging from street lamps.
For the wailing trees being eaten by sheet metal locusts,
for the silent army of children with pitchforks,
for the night sky filling with deathball machines,
for the worm-toothed dragon awakening beneath the mountain,
for the puppets made of flesh made to dance for the oil kings,
and for the baby who is stirring in your womb,
strike the drum, oh my daughter, strike the drum.

My cells taught you a hymn as soon as you were conceived,
and it’s wiser than anything I can say to you here.
Strike the drum of the Elephant God until sunrise,
then begin making your nest as I taught you.
Your labor cries will soon mix with the cries of the grandmothers,
and I will be cherishing you deeply, oh my daughter.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Morrissey – “Spent the Day in Bed” (Video – 2017)

November 24, 2017 at 1:57 pm (Music)

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Caitlin Johnstone – “The Mushroom Cloud Angel”

November 21, 2017 at 8:10 pm (Caitlin Johnstone, Poetry & Literature)

A mushroom cloud angel came to visit me one night
while I was drinking whiskey and Gatorade
and arguing with a wrong person on the internet.
It smelled like ozone and tire fires.
Its eyes stretched all the way back to the Big Bang.

“Uhh, look,” I said as my vase of petunias wilted in its presence.
“Whatever this is, I’m really not ready for it.
I haven’t showered, and my credit’s a mess,
and I’ve got unresolved issues with my mother still.
Emma Carmichael next door, you should try her.
She’s got her shit together.
She drives a Honda Odyssey.”

There was a deep rumbling in my bones,
and the paint on the walls began to peel.
A cockroach scuttled out backwards from its hiding place.
My office supplies started to levitate,
and suddenly I knew what the creature wanted.
Why it had come to me.

“Oh,” I said.
“Okay. Let me think.”

I told it about how I try really, really hard
not to let any moment here go to waste.
How even if I’m just watching The Bachelorette
or doodling in my notepad or looking out the window,
I try to really feel every part of it.
I told it how the beauty of my lover’s face makes me weep,
and how I cherish every time my kids include me in their things.
How the galahs and magpies bicker every morning
and how they make me smile while I sip my black coffee.
How I know it’s spring when the magnolias blossom,
and how jasmine means summer’s near.

I showed it everything I’ve come to adore about people;
our frailty, our ferociousness,
our relentless drive to create.
The guileless symbiosis of an elderly married couple,
the elegant awkwardness of teenagers,
the desperation of parents trying not to screw up too bad.
How thrilling it is to start again every sunrise.
How terrifying it is to fall more in love every day
with someone who can’t live forever.

I invited it into my body and let it walk around in my skin
so it could feel how awesome it is to be human.
Still haven’t gotten the smell out of my nostrils
or the ancient eons out of my veins.

“Well?” I asked it, my face dripping sweat,
when I’d run out of reasons to offer.
“Do we get to stay here or not?”

The mushroom cloud angel turned and walked away,
burning craters in the Carmichaels’ lawn with its feet.
I don’t know who else it has talked to since,
or how often we’re made to answer,
but the bombs still haven’t dropped.
We’re all still here,
come what may.

Emma was so pissed off.

Caitlin Johnstone

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“The Return of Courtney Love” (2006)

November 19, 2017 at 10:54 am (Music)

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“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” (2015)

November 18, 2017 at 10:44 am (Music)

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Caitlin Johnstone – “When We Raise Our True Flag”

November 17, 2017 at 9:22 am (Caitlin Johnstone, Poetry & Literature)

There will come a day
(and it won’t be long now)
when the mandible-mouthed liars cease their death song,
and ivy grows over the bunkers of the Bank Boys,
and the cannons all sprout mushrooms,
and fireflies fill the air once more.

When that day comes,
we will lower the flag of the marching machine
(once used as wrapping paper for dead teenagers with rifles,
once hung over buildings full of men with red eyes,
once emblazoned upon flying robots that rained fire),
and we will raise our true flag at long last.

It will be woven from the prayers of our grandmothers
who will never see it raised but knew one day it would be.
It will be dyed in the blood of the media martyrs
who stared the Bastards in the eye and sang life songs.
It will have a traditional image of Michael the Archangel,
except instead of him stepping on the Devil
they are laughing together over a drink at the pub
while a man with a pipe looks on and smiles.
It will be based on a drawing made in crayon long ago
by a chain-smoking dryad who lurks in your brain pan.

We will all salute it in our own unique way:
with fart jokes and whale songs,
with unearthly ululations,
with runed glossolalia,
with lightning from our fingertips,
with air guitar karate,
with lava dance lovemaking,
with a single tear from someone who still misses you,
with an uplifting of the heart toward the sky.

And then we’ll all curl up together
and we’ll sleep unafraid
for the very first time,
and we will dream of the ones
who helped walk us home.

Caitlin Johnstone

View story at Medium.com

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Sananda Maitreya (feat. Luisa Corna) – “It’s Been a Long Time” (Video – 2017)

November 13, 2017 at 1:51 pm (Music)

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