1. valyrianneil said: What did you think of Velvet Goldmine?

    boiledleather:

    Velvet Goldmine changed my life. I would not be the person I am today without it. 

    I first saw it in the theater when it came out, in the little arthouse at Yale. At the time I was only minimally conversant in the work of David Bowie — this film being to Bowie what Citizen Kane was to William Randolph Hearst, you might say — and had zero knowledge of any other glam. I thought it took too long to get off the ground and that it didn’t rock hard enough. I enjoyed the soundtrack, which I purchased, but aside from the “Baby’s On Fire” montage-orgy sequence in the middle of the film I didn’t think much of the movie itself.

    A few years later I’d graduated and moved back home. I was flipping through the channels late one night and stumbled across Velvet Goldmine playing on Cinemax; I believe it had reached the “Ballad of Maxwell Demon” music-video segment. “Huh,” I said to myself. “This is better than I remembered!” An hour and a half later the film ended and I was completely enthralled. That enchantment has never gone away.

    Why? Well, on the level of art it’s simply a beautiful film; Todd Haynes is good at that. It’s full of beautiful people being very sexy, which is also a good thing to be. (Toni Collette’s shimmy in that silver dress when she first meets Bryan Slade is one of the sexiest things I’ve ever seen in a movie. So is Bryan and Curt’s kiss, duh.) For a pop-culture omniphage like myself it’s full of multilayered references to rock history, film history, literary history, you name it — you can pick “Curt Wild” alone apart for like fifteen, twenty minutes if you want. The music rules. The character work is quietly complex and empathetic — notice the empathy in the seemingly scruple-free Jerry Divine’s voice when he tells Bryan he can’t renew Curt’s contract, for example; notice how Christian Bale’s character joins the party in London only after it’s basically over, technically making him a poseur or bandwagon-jumper, characterizations the film deliberately ignores in favor of a nonjudgmental look at how art can change, even save, lives no matter where or when or how that art reaches those lives.

    That’s the message that stuck with me, the message inherent in that aspect of the Arthur Stewart storyline. Another film would have portrayed him as inauthentic, right? It would have been about the progenitors’ scene exclusively; a provincial wannabe like Arthur would be viewed like, well, like the O.G. glam kids in his town view him when they give him the stinkeye as he walks along in his best-he-can-do glam finery. The message of Velvet Goldmine is that authenticity is a sham, a trap, a weapon used to penalize and separate. Artifice, the willingness to ingest and incorporate new influences at will and move on just as easily — this is sanity-preserving salvation. Bryan, of course, takes it too far, because he divorces artifice from empathy. The film, and the characters who matter in it, does not.

    Once this sank in, which happened immediately, I went right out and bought up the highlights of David Bowie’s catalog. Then Roxy Music’s. Brian Eno’s. Every bubbleglam band and one-hit wonder I could track down on Napster. (Napster!) From Velvet Goldmine to David Bowie to the jettisoning of a lifelong fixation on authenticity, on figuring out WHO I AM and being ONLY that FOREVER, on working as hard as I can to project only one thing about myself and fight like a border guard against anything else — took about a week, I’d say.

    I love Velvet Goldmine

  2. [Link] You Will Ache Like I Ache: The Oral History of Hole's 'Live Through This' | SPIN | Profiles | It Was 20 Years Ago... →

    I honestly can’t remember the last time I reacted as intensely, as quickly, to a work of criticism as I have to Jessica Hopper’s work in this piece.

    For one thing, speaking as a writer who’s done one in the past, this is an achievement in using the oral-history form to reveal information, rather than aid in cloaking it through self-mythologization. It’s so easy to do that with these things. Shit, it’s baked into the premise of the enterprise: Look at my proximity to all these people’s proximity to greatness!

    But it’s not that Hopper doesn’t include all the choice nugs you’d want in an oral history — you know, anecdotes about meeting RuPaul while hammered at the SNL afterparty, differing accounts of how badly Courtney Love wanted to work with Butch Vig, etc. It’s that she treats it not just as a history of a cool thing, but as reporting on that thing. She digs into how the studio was selected, how the personnel came together, what the schedule was like. She digs into the rock climate at the time, the (limited) involvement of Billy Corgan and Kurt Cobain, the (profound) influence of Siamese Dream and Nevermind. She digs into drug use, who was doing what and when. She talks to band members, producers, label people. She lets Love hoist herself by her own petard when that’s called for, but she also lets her emerge, then and now, as someone who had a very clear artistic goal and worked, successfully, to achieve it. Inner torment and commercial ambitions and improved songwriting chops and a better rhythm section and working with a guitarist with little self-confidence and hiring skilled producers and developing a workday routine and navigating the demands of other prominent artists in the field with whom she was close — it all went in and that record came out, and Hopper gets it all down. I suppose she’s lucky that she got such a forthcoming group of interviewees, since god knows that’s rare, but luck’s a fundamental part of a good piece too.

    I didn’t listen to Hole in the alt-’90s heyday; didn’t buy the “Yoko” nonsense either, that just didn’t seem to cut any more ice here than it does with actual Yoko. And there’s no way to be judgmental about Love as a parent without being more so about the one who isn’t there anymore at all, so I think I gave that a pass over the years as well. Point is I didn’t have much riding on reading this either way. But what a fascinating document of the making of a work of art, and what an inspiring example of how to write about art. It makes me want to work harder.

  3. fuckyeahtshirts:

zgmfd:

1000 Homo DJs 90s music day

Any available opportunity to listen to 1000 Homo DJs or Revolting Cocks should be taken without hesitation

If you’d asked me at any point throughout the mid to late ’90s I’d have said that these were quite literally the coolest men alive.

    fuckyeahtshirts:

    zgmfd:

    1000 Homo DJs 90s music day

    Any available opportunity to listen to 1000 Homo DJs or Revolting Cocks should be taken without hesitation

    If you’d asked me at any point throughout the mid to late ’90s I’d have said that these were quite literally the coolest men alive.

  4. highway62:

    Public service announcement for new followers: I sometimes make and record noise under the name Identify 9 (formerly The Roswell Incident). You can listen to it all for free at Bandcamp.

    Just like this one called “Black Noise” which isn’t a title I would have chosen on my own.

    You cannot dance to it. But your coworkers will hate you.

  5. stoneralien:

    written by sean

  6. vorpalizer:

Webcomic Wednesday: Talking to the Holy Ghost in My Bugatti by Meaghan “Moneyworth” Garvey
Strictly speaking, this week’s webcomic is not a comic, nor is it even on the web, unless you count its expired Etsy listing. But I’d be doing everyone a grave disservice if I didn’t draw your attention to the astounding collision of hip-hop/R&B iconography and conspiracy-theory/occult paranoia that is Talking to the Holy Ghost in My Bugatti. In these pages, artist/DJ/t-shirt maven Moneyworth (aka Meaghan Garvey) takes one of the odder urban legends of the past few years — the notion that some of music’s biggest superstars, including Beyoncé (above), Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rihanna, and Drake, are secretly members of the Illuminati, which can be deduced from coded lyrics and from symbolism in their videos and promo photos and signature hand gestures and whatnot — and runs as far as she can with it. Students of both the occult and contemporary urban radio, a Venn-diagram overlap in which I quite happily fall, will marvel at her ability to seamlessly blend selected lyrics and esoteric incantations, until you really do start to wonder if maybe Rick Ross is involved in Satanic ritual and world domination in between saying “WHUNN” a lot on his records. As a bonus, her black-and-white portraiture is convincingly ominous, and her hand lettering is ornate and exquisite. The eye is in the pyramid and the Roc is in the building, my friends. Bow down.

    vorpalizer:

    Webcomic Wednesday: Talking to the Holy Ghost in My Bugatti by Meaghan “Moneyworth” Garvey


    Strictly speaking, this week’s webcomic is not a comic, nor is it even on the web, unless you count its expired Etsy listing. But I’d be doing everyone a grave disservice if I didn’t draw your attention to the astounding collision of hip-hop/R&B iconography and conspiracy-theory/occult paranoia that is Talking to the Holy Ghost in My Bugatti. In these pages, artist/DJ/t-shirt maven Moneyworth (aka Meaghan Garvey) takes one of the odder urban legends of the past few years — the notion that some of music’s biggest superstars, including Beyoncé (above), Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rihanna, and Drake, are secretly members of the Illuminati, which can be deduced from coded lyrics and from symbolism in their videos and promo photos and signature hand gestures and whatnot — and runs as far as she can with it. Students of both the occult and contemporary urban radio, a Venn-diagram overlap in which I quite happily fall, will marvel at her ability to seamlessly blend selected lyrics and esoteric incantations, until you really do start to wonder if maybe Rick Ross is involved in Satanic ritual and world domination in between saying “WHUNN” a lot on his records. As a bonus, her black-and-white portraiture is convincingly ominous, and her hand lettering is ornate and exquisite. The eye is in the pyramid and the Roc is in the building, my friends. Bow down.

  7. Ceremony/White Lung/Perfect Pussy/Sleepies, E&L Auditorium, Kimmel Center, NYU 12/05/13
In an effort to improve my Comscore ranking I attended my first punk show since, I’m guessing, Green Day/Pansy Division/Die Toten Hosen at the Nassau Coliseum in December 1994. I was invited to do this by music-writer friends who have effectively been extending this same invitation to the entire world, or at least the segment of it that reads music websites, for a few months now. I had a lovely time; I also had thoughts.
It’s AMAZING how much the energy changes between female-fronted punk bands (Perfect Pussy, White Lung) and male ones (Sleepies, Ceremony). I can obviously rattle off so many counterexamples that they shouldn’t even be considered as counter to anything, they’re just normal, but even so there’s an irony, almost, to seeing and hearing female voices make this aggressive music (society, amirite), while there’s an all but inescapable bro-ness to seeing and hearing dudes do it. And that’s not nothing, that difference. That adds something.
Indeed, what’s missing from the recent, frequently vituperative discussion about these bands is an acknowledgement or addressing of their live acts. Simply put, I walked away from the show believing these bands have earned the attention they’ve gotten, simply by virtue of stage presence. I say that despite a single listen to the Perfect Pussy EP on Bandcamp being the sum total of my experience with the bands’ music before I walked into that room, and despite it all being played at a volume and speed that flattens out traditional opportunities to get hooked by melody or groove in unfamiliar music played in a live setting. The three main acts all acted as though they deserved your attention. QED.
Given that nine times out of ten hardcore is the least funky/groove-oriented music imaginable, I was struck by what a difference the bassists made, at least as components of the live performance. Perfect Pussy’s Greg Ambler is a full-fledged muscle-armed Jason Newsted monster up there. White Lung’s Hether Fortune was comparatively staid, but sinister. Ceremony’s Justin Davis was like the antithesis of the band’s showy/skinny/shirtless guitarist Anthony Anzaldo — he seemed like he could have just left a gig as a teamster, he anchored his half of the stage with authority, and he smilingly took some good-natured ribbing from White Lung about his bald spot. The bass’s role in this kind of music is to provide a support structure for the overall assault, so having players with evident personalities helps make you feel like you’re watching something worthwhile be constructed.
The lead singers made for a memorable trio of approaches to rock/punk frontperson iconography as well. White Lung’s Mish Way could have been Zelig’d into old Rolling Stone photos of mid-’90s Courtney Love or Donita Sparks and no one would be the wiser; watching her wrestle that archetype back to more traditional fast/cheap/out-of-control punk was compelling. Ross Farrar was one of Beavis & Butt-head’s proverbial regular guys you wouldn’t know was cool if you saw him walking down the street; he looked like a barfly, which was alarming to me in that I bet you he’s younger than I am which means I’m old enough to look like an older barfly, but again, watching him suddenly shift into screaming, contorted madman mode from that basic template was a good deal of fun. Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves, blessed with one of those names that sounds like she might have made it up, derives much of her stage presence’s power from sounding like Starscream from the Transformers but looking 100% like a well-dressed person at your cousin’s wedding.
My point is that this stuff worked as stagecraft, and that’s worth spending all this time on given how much of the talk about this stuff centers around questions of authenticity. Artifice matters too.
Coming as I do from alternative comics, where even the most abrasive material is still literally two-dimensional, it was bracing in the extreme to see anger and aggression so palpably, physically performed. You could scream, you could make a ton of noise, you could hit people; at one point half of White Lung came out and decked half of Ceremony. The workaround required for cartoonists to convey that level of intensity is quite demanding.
That said, punk and hardcore are tremendously conservative aesthetics. Has a form of rebellion ever calcified as hard? To the layperson, which is very much what I am, any of the big buzzed-about new punk acts of the past several years could convincingly have come from 2012, 2002, 1992, or 1982. The pleasure of punk stems from the experience of punk, of course, the camaraderie and community and politics, but on the level of art it seems like the bands that connect find ways not to blaze new trails but to maximize the potential of the paths already taken. Punk is almost like, I don’t know, bluegrass, or standards. 
And yet looking around that room and seeing a bunch of 19-year-olds absolutely pound the shit out of each other in the pit (the pit! “Area 35-Year-Old Attends Show with Pit”) before the disbelieving eyes of cops and venue supervisors showed me that punk’s transgressive potential is still very real, and I very much believe in transgression for transgression’s sake. Ringing ears, shirts covered with blood, menacing lead singers (particularly ones who write with the same no-nonsense fervor with which they sing), bassists who look like they could quite easily mug you, music that’s indecipherable on first listen but studded with provocative slogans when you finally see the lyric sheet or hear the diehards chanting them in unison — shit, even a band name like Perfect Pussy — I’m glad these things exist. I’m glad there are still oppositional communities, even if I’m not a part of them.

    Ceremony/White Lung/Perfect Pussy/Sleepies, E&L Auditorium, Kimmel Center, NYU 12/05/13

    In an effort to improve my Comscore ranking I attended my first punk show since, I’m guessing, Green Day/Pansy Division/Die Toten Hosen at the Nassau Coliseum in December 1994. I was invited to do this by music-writer friends who have effectively been extending this same invitation to the entire world, or at least the segment of it that reads music websites, for a few months now. I had a lovely time; I also had thoughts.

    • It’s AMAZING how much the energy changes between female-fronted punk bands (Perfect Pussy, White Lung) and male ones (Sleepies, Ceremony). I can obviously rattle off so many counterexamples that they shouldn’t even be considered as counter to anything, they’re just normal, but even so there’s an irony, almost, to seeing and hearing female voices make this aggressive music (society, amirite), while there’s an all but inescapable bro-ness to seeing and hearing dudes do it. And that’s not nothing, that difference. That adds something.
    • Indeed, what’s missing from the recent, frequently vituperative discussion about these bands is an acknowledgement or addressing of their live acts. Simply put, I walked away from the show believing these bands have earned the attention they’ve gotten, simply by virtue of stage presence. I say that despite a single listen to the Perfect Pussy EP on Bandcamp being the sum total of my experience with the bands’ music before I walked into that room, and despite it all being played at a volume and speed that flattens out traditional opportunities to get hooked by melody or groove in unfamiliar music played in a live setting. The three main acts all acted as though they deserved your attention. QED.
    • Given that nine times out of ten hardcore is the least funky/groove-oriented music imaginable, I was struck by what a difference the bassists made, at least as components of the live performance. Perfect Pussy’s Greg Ambler is a full-fledged muscle-armed Jason Newsted monster up there. White Lung’s Hether Fortune was comparatively staid, but sinister. Ceremony’s Justin Davis was like the antithesis of the band’s showy/skinny/shirtless guitarist Anthony Anzaldo — he seemed like he could have just left a gig as a teamster, he anchored his half of the stage with authority, and he smilingly took some good-natured ribbing from White Lung about his bald spot. The bass’s role in this kind of music is to provide a support structure for the overall assault, so having players with evident personalities helps make you feel like you’re watching something worthwhile be constructed.
    • The lead singers made for a memorable trio of approaches to rock/punk frontperson iconography as well. White Lung’s Mish Way could have been Zelig’d into old Rolling Stone photos of mid-’90s Courtney Love or Donita Sparks and no one would be the wiser; watching her wrestle that archetype back to more traditional fast/cheap/out-of-control punk was compelling. Ross Farrar was one of Beavis & Butt-head’s proverbial regular guys you wouldn’t know was cool if you saw him walking down the street; he looked like a barfly, which was alarming to me in that I bet you he’s younger than I am which means I’m old enough to look like an older barfly, but again, watching him suddenly shift into screaming, contorted madman mode from that basic template was a good deal of fun. Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves, blessed with one of those names that sounds like she might have made it up, derives much of her stage presence’s power from sounding like Starscream from the Transformers but looking 100% like a well-dressed person at your cousin’s wedding.
    • My point is that this stuff worked as stagecraft, and that’s worth spending all this time on given how much of the talk about this stuff centers around questions of authenticity. Artifice matters too.
    • Coming as I do from alternative comics, where even the most abrasive material is still literally two-dimensional, it was bracing in the extreme to see anger and aggression so palpably, physically performed. You could scream, you could make a ton of noise, you could hit people; at one point half of White Lung came out and decked half of Ceremony. The workaround required for cartoonists to convey that level of intensity is quite demanding.
    • That said, punk and hardcore are tremendously conservative aesthetics. Has a form of rebellion ever calcified as hard? To the layperson, which is very much what I am, any of the big buzzed-about new punk acts of the past several years could convincingly have come from 2012, 2002, 1992, or 1982. The pleasure of punk stems from the experience of punk, of course, the camaraderie and community and politics, but on the level of art it seems like the bands that connect find ways not to blaze new trails but to maximize the potential of the paths already taken. Punk is almost like, I don’t know, bluegrass, or standards. 
    • And yet looking around that room and seeing a bunch of 19-year-olds absolutely pound the shit out of each other in the pit (the pit! “Area 35-Year-Old Attends Show with Pit”) before the disbelieving eyes of cops and venue supervisors showed me that punk’s transgressive potential is still very real, and I very much believe in transgression for transgression’s sake. Ringing ears, shirts covered with blood, menacing lead singers (particularly ones who write with the same no-nonsense fervor with which they sing), bassists who look like they could quite easily mug you, music that’s indecipherable on first listen but studded with provocative slogans when you finally see the lyric sheet or hear the diehards chanting them in unison — shit, even a band name like Perfect Pussy — I’m glad these things exist. I’m glad there are still oppositional communities, even if I’m not a part of them.

  8. 




































BIEBERCOMIC
SEAN T. COLLINS, SCRIPT / MICHAEL HAWKINS, ART

    BIEBERCOMIC

    SEAN T. COLLINS, SCRIPT / MICHAEL HAWKINS, ART

  9. blood-head:


john-spookiante:

thatbullshit:

“At the height of his cocaine addiction, David Bowie weighed only 95 pounds, hardly a healthy weight for 5’11”. He later said that he spent most of the mid-Seventies trying to perfect telekinesis and trying to keep Jimmy Page and witches from stealing his soul.”

trying to keep Jimmy Page and witches from stealing his soul


sorry, I don’t see the problem?

    blood-head:

    john-spookiante:

    thatbullshit:

    “At the height of his cocaine addiction, David Bowie weighed only 95 pounds, hardly a healthy weight for 5’11”. He later said that he spent most of the mid-Seventies trying to perfect telekinesis and trying to keep Jimmy Page and witches from stealing his soul.”

    trying to keep Jimmy Page and witches from stealing his soul

    sorry, I don’t see the problem?

  10. bowielovesbeyonce:

    Literally the best any many has ever looked.

    (Source: lokisacolyte)