Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wire: "We Don't Play Requests" on Rockpalast (1979)

At least once or twice a year for the last three decades, I have listened to Pink Flag and am reminded of Wire's singular genius. They were, in some ways, the punk band's punk band. They had an inscrutable stage presence, sometimes withdrawn, other times seemingly anguished. Colin Newman could deliver an obtuse line with anxious force. It's all on display in the full, televised Rockpalast concert available (for now) in the clip below. I don't think "genius" overstates my case.

To my joyous surprise, Wire's recent output has much good stuff in it, especially 2008's Object 47, which I anticipated disliking because of the absence of original guitarist Bruce Gilbert. Below is the official video for the opening song, "One Of Us." They've long since embraced injecting standard choruses into their songs, and to memorable effect, as heard here with "One of us will live to rue the day we met each other."

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

That Signature Sound

What, you get a "hardshell case" with this, but no screwdriver?  This video made some neurons in my brain twitch and falter for a few seconds. But why can't Lee Ranaldo's signature Jazzmaster be used for this? Why NOT? It is a beautiful-looking thing, I must say.

Are your neurons twitching enough yet? If not, please ease into a comfy place on the couch, close your eyes, and listen as Thurston Moore's signature guitar gets used in these interpretations of "Satan Is Boring" and "Death Valley '69." Rock out, but not too far out!

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Pink Horse and Hitler's Karma

About 20 years ago [at Vidiots in Santa Monica, CA], I came across a fantastic 30-minute documentary on VHS called The New Believers, which focused on four figures on the fringes of the then-burgeoning New Age spiritual scene. Having searched in vain for a copy of it on eBay and Amazon, and seeing no clips on YouTube, I gave up hope of ever seeing it again. But it seems that in the last year or so, the good folks at Video Paté decided the world should know about....The New Believers.

The highlight is Master Ho, a crystal-wielding, silk-robed "healer" who appears to channel an alien entity named Thomas, though not on camera. "They," says Master Ho before he can reveal Thomas's secrets, "cut me right off."  Since this was filmed, it appears that Ho has founded his own religion called the Universal Spiritual Church.

Be sure to watch the clip all the way to the end to hear about the hypothetical (or not) pink horse.

The second highlight of The New Believers is, shall we say, far less lovable than the wok-rocking Master Ho and his biblical UFOs. It is the Rev. Neville Rowe, a bloke who can trance-channel a school of dolphins...he even "talks" like them! order to share their amazing wisdom with us. (Trance-channeling and crystals seem to be the main tenets of the New Age.)

The dolphins tell us about the "infinite I AM" and on and on, but also apparently dispense explanations for the Holocaust that will leave your mouth agape. "Rev. Rowe" does confess that his view on Hitler's karma is "unpopular," after all. (Yes, I imagine only a very few idiots think like him.) Come to think of it, maybe we can't really blame the dolphins for his anti-semitism. Maybe it is all his.

Creep out and enjoy!

Edited on June16, 2013 with note about Vidiots.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Two Old Stoned Libertarians

Not a libertarian myself, I still feel an appreciation for the likes for Karl Hess, former speechwriter for none other than Barry Goldwater, and an even deeper appreciation for Robert Anton Wilson, fnord. (I've written about RAW here, here, and here.)

Below catch the two of 'em light up a joint and rap about the New Left, conspiracies, the FBI, politics, and paranoia, all onstage at what appears to be a libertarian conference around 1987.