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No Need to Atone for Your Synths

Not all groups with synthesizers in the 1970s and 1980s were lame Top 40 acts with keytars. Some groups of the era used synths for spastic keyboard bleeps, herky-jerky tempos, and angst-ridden aggression in a style now classified by record collector geeks as synthpunk, minimal synth, or minimal wave. Several famous New Wave acts dabbled in the style before providing soundtracks for Molly Ringwald movies (OMD, Electricty) or singing about waitresses in cocktail bars (the Human League, Being Boiled), but vintage videos from synth punk acts all over the world can be found all over YouTube. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Mar 14, 2009 - 29 comments

 

Words Are Made of Letter People

The Letter People started as a collection of vaguely trippy drawings by illustrator Elizabeth Callen in the early 70s, but viewers of Midwestern PBS in the 70s and 80s might have learned to read from the Letter People puppet show produced by PBS station KETC in St. Louis. Set in the black void of "Letter People Land", the show allowed each character to introduce him or herself with a song, from the laid back, Carole King vibe in Miss A's song, to the bizarre sound collage of Mr. X (audio with fan-made video). And of course cashing in on the nostalgia craze, the new and improved letter people without references to junk food or the pesky marital status of the vowels. [more inside]
posted by Thin Lizzy on Feb 21, 2009 - 34 comments

Web of Horror!

Web of Horror #1 (December 1969): Re-presenting the short-lived and impossibly obscure horror comics magazine that featured early work from such luminaries as Ralph Reese, Jeff Jones and Bernie Wrightson. Link via Journalista (may be NSFW). [more inside]
posted by kittens for breakfast on Oct 24, 2008 - 23 comments

Prog Rock Special - part 1

It’s been a long, weird and expensive week all over. Why not stay in tonight and watch guys (mostly) with long hair playing strange and difficult music from a long lost decade? [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Oct 3, 2008 - 47 comments

When the Wind Blows

This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. - The BBC releases its script for use in the event of nuclear war.
posted by Artw on Oct 2, 2008 - 37 comments

Vanhacking

In a time before the Prius, the custom conversion van ruled the roadways. Pushing the boundaries of the airbrush form, testing the limits of mobile interior design, featuring the latest in automatic pink leather bed, compact toaster, 8-track, and love machine technology, the 70s van was celebrated in song and cinema. You started with a factory model, new or used, and ended at a place limited onlyby your creativity, your budget, and your old lady's patience (NSFW). Ford could make you a man.If push came to shove, you could even live in your van. It was fantasy on wheels: van-tastic, man. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Jul 18, 2008 - 43 comments

Pocket Calculator Show

Pocket Calculator Show. via: Beware of Blog
posted by serazin on Jul 7, 2008 - 13 comments

Blacula is Dracula's Soul Brother

Shaft was so cool that he had his own theme song. Shaft walked across the street whenever he wanted to. Shaft was a complicated man. But not all Blaxploitation heros were Private Dicks. They could be a Pimp, a Power-Hungry Criminal, a Coke Dealer, or a Male Prostitute. One was a Former Green Beret, one was a Bounty Hunter, and one was a Prize Fighter. Some were Foxy Ladies, such as Vigilante Nurses, US Special Agents, or Escaped Convicts. They might even be a Karate Master or a Vampire. [more inside]
posted by burnmp3s on May 24, 2008 - 23 comments

"We made up worlds as dirty as our minds."

The Doll Games emerged in Berkeley, California, at a time when race, gender, politics, and sexuality were fiercely and publicly debated... The Doll Games held up a funhouse mirror to their times, and what survives of them are historical documents of a wobbly, comical sort. But the Doll Games transcend their epoch. Intricate, obsessional, moral, violent and sexual, funny and tragic... Obedient to no rules except those its practitioners invented for themselves, completely collaborative, the Doll Games defined a truly interactive art form. In this theater of two, every audience member was a co-creator. [some text and pics NSFW]
posted by amyms on May 18, 2008 - 24 comments

Beats The Hell Out of The Neutron Dance

The Pointer Sisters rehearse. [more inside]
posted by StopMakingSense on Apr 30, 2008 - 11 comments

Old logos

120 pages of old logos, scanned from a 1970s book called “World of Logotypes.”
posted by tepidmonkey on Mar 18, 2008 - 20 comments

Grievous Angel

Gram Parsons fans take note - there's a recent new biography and a release of 90 minutes of vintage Flying Burrito Brothers. Some rare footage has also recently surfaced online: performing with FBB and duets with Emmylou Harris 1, 2, 3. Other items of note: Emmylou talks about Gram in 2000; British biographical sketch; Keith Richards on Gram in Rolling Stone; an interview with Manuel, the designer of the famous Nudie suit. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 7, 2008 - 38 comments

Early Kraftwerk @ YouTube

Early Kraftwerk @ YouTube, from when they still had long hair—Ruckzuck live on WDR TV in 1970; Truckstop Gondolero (aka Rückstossgondoliere), a 1971 performance where the line-up is Florian with Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother, later of NEU!; Heavy Metal Kids (audio only), also from 1971; and a lovely version of Tanzmusik (1973). [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Feb 16, 2008 - 22 comments

Who loves ya, baby?

It's Telly Friday, baby.
posted by miss lynnster on Dec 14, 2007 - 32 comments

Ripeness is All: Lustmord Portrayed in Oil

New York artist Ashley Hope's Ripeness is All exhibit at the Tilton Gallery recreates crime scene photographs of murdered women from the 1910s through the 1990s as oil paintings on huge 4' x 6' canvasses. [some nsfw art] [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Nov 30, 2007 - 48 comments

NYC photos 1968-1972

"New York City 1968-1972" Some very compelling black and white street photography by Paul McDonough. via
posted by CunningLinguist on Oct 18, 2007 - 49 comments

All the World Loves a Bronson

Playboy. Cowboy. Mandom. The late Charles Bronson and his perfect chest, in one of his finest early pre-Death-Wish roles. And look out for Percy Helton. Here's a shorter version with more horse. Via here. [more inside]
posted by brownpau on Sep 20, 2007 - 63 comments

retro style: fab fashions from the 60s and 70s

From hair styles and hotpants to bellbottoms and boots, this site has amassed a massive fashion photo collection of groovy celebrities and swingin' stars from the '60s and '70s.
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 9, 2007 - 26 comments

wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Wonderbra!

From the Golden Age of TV commercial jingles, variations on a lyric theme: Wonderbra ads from 1968 (#1), 1968 (#2), 1969, 1974, 1975, and 1979, all served up in the groovy pop aesthetic of those fabulous decades! It's a wonderful thing. [lyrics inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 4, 2007 - 19 comments

Oranges smoranges! Who said?

Hold on to your talking magic flute, 70s kids... a new, animated H.R. Pufnstuf is on the island. Beatbox reworking of the original theme song included (Before/After). I'm dying to hear what they'll do with Mechanical Boy...
posted by miss lynnster on May 7, 2007 - 55 comments

But the Artwork Is Nice.

Oh, Wicked Wanda. So very, very NSFW. But the artwork is nice. Full-color comics from Penthouse, circa 1970s. Background
posted by John of Michigan on Mar 4, 2007 - 14 comments

But is it jazz?

Jazz '71-'89 Dave Douglas posed the challenge: “Is there a writer who can take on the project of an unbiased overview of music since the end of the Vietnam War?” The Bad Plus answered (though not unbiased). The Guardian and NY Times weighed in. Suck it, haters. And ultimately, Behearer used a wiki to answer the call.
posted by klangklangston on Feb 15, 2007 - 20 comments

1970s Dept Store Catalogs

Since April of this year, the blogger over at PlaidStallions has been dutifully scanning the most interesting/unique pages from 1970's department store catalogs (among other things) and posting the images online with commentary.
posted by jonson on Dec 1, 2006 - 24 comments

bing, bang, boing and more fun from the 70s

1970s toy commercials. From an era when things were more fun, cool, and fresh. Whether you were a hipster or a genius type, there was some creative and smart toy to be had. Many toys were educational and prepared you for the vicissitudes of adulthood. (YouTube alert!)
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 10, 2006 - 44 comments

Punky Chips Ahoy!

That's Punksploitation!! Can punk rock episodes of old TV shows kill? Check out punk episodes from Quincy, CHiPs (Part 1 and Part 2), 21 Jump Street (Part 1 and Part 2), as well as the appearance of the Dickies on the Don Rickles sitcom, CPO Sharkey. Other prime vintage examples of media cluelessness on punk rock include a fashion show and a scaremongering Time magazine article, although a recent cookie commercial may revive the punksploitation genre.
posted by jonp72 on Aug 30, 2006 - 55 comments

Has 9/11 Made Us Nostalgic for the Golden Age of Skyjacking?

Japanese leftists seize plane with samurai swords. AWOL Marine sets record by hijacking plane from Fresno to Rome. Female Palestinian hijacker becomes radical chic pin-up. D.B. Cooper parachutes from 727 with $200,000 in unmarked bills. Have airplane bombings made us nostalgic for old-school skyjackers who just wanted money or a trip to Cuba? Academic papers analyze skyjacking in the 60s & 70s according to contagion and rational choice models. Check out a prescient pre-9/11 documentary on the subject with great archival clips.
posted by jonp72 on Aug 18, 2006 - 21 comments

Mah num ah num - The Muppets' musical debut

Mah num ah num (Google Video) - The Muppets debut their first music video in 1976.
posted by persona non grata on Aug 17, 2006 - 70 comments

The 1970s Russian main street

The 1970s Russian main street was filled with small, grimy stores stocked with ethnic food and kept by unfriendly laconic storekeepers. However, since then this "closed world, one full of sour looks, suspicion, and hopelessly outdated fashion" has disappeared. [more inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Apr 23, 2006 - 15 comments

Cheesy Photo Goodness

8 X 10 glossies of a bygone era. Stacks of professionally taken promotional photos of early 1970s performers (mostly from the cocktail lounge circuit, it appears) were found in an alley and rescued. You can almost hear the tinkly piano music in the background as you look at these hopeful showbiz faces. (via Sharpeworld)
posted by Oriole Adams on Mar 17, 2006 - 59 comments

Asian progressive music from the 60s and 70s

60s/70s psych, crossover, beat, and a go-go from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam with band/music scene histories, streaming audio, cover art, etc. Part of a large site devoted to 60s/70s progressive music around the world.
posted by carter on Dec 8, 2005 - 15 comments

DC Photos from the 1970s

Photoset: DC in the 1970s. Washingtonians, take a look. Some things haven't changed at all, other things are subtly different, still other things are no longer there.
posted by brownpau on Dec 3, 2005 - 16 comments

Punk Rock Scrapbook

Punk Rock Scrapbook. J Neo Marvin carried an instamatic camera to a lot of gigs way back when, and he has posted them on his band's website. The Clash, X, The Ramones and more.
posted by planetkyoto on Mar 8, 2005 - 19 comments

My lost city:

My lost city: Low Life author Luc Sante reminisces about a youth spent in the ruins of 1970s New York:

"... when I was a student at Columbia, my windows gave out onto the plaza of the School of International Affairs, where on winter nights troops of feral dogs would arrive to bed down on the heating grates. Since then the city had lapsed even further ... if you walked east on Houston Street from the Bowery on a summer night, the jungle growth of vacant blocks gave a foretaste of the impending wilderness, when lianas would engird the skyscrapers and mushrooms would cover Times Square."

Sante talked about the period a bit more in a 2004 interview with The Believer.
posted by ryanshepard on Feb 16, 2005 - 6 comments

Oh you're absolutely fine ...

I LOVE YOU I WANNA LOVE YOU TENDER. You could be my only sweet surrender. I would never bring you any kind of sorrow. (38 Mb QT)
posted by Peter H on Jan 13, 2005 - 23 comments

Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific

Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific! Yes, back in the 70s it was all right to say this to unsuspecting strangers here in the US. We live in different times now, but the product is once again available, imported from the Phillipines by The Vermont Country Store, also selling all manner of odd products from yesteryear. (Midget joke not included)
posted by Ogre Lawless on Aug 31, 2004 - 14 comments

Pitchfork's Top 100 Albums of the 1970s

Pitchfork's Top 100 Albums of the 1970s (dis|cuss|discuss).
posted by LinusMines on Jul 1, 2004 - 117 comments

Bill Owners - a picture of suburbia

Bill Owens has a fascinating series of photographs depicting suburban life in the 1960s and '70s.
posted by monju_bosatsu on May 26, 2004 - 14 comments

The Fututo House - funky space age living

The Futuro House - designed in 1968 by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, this funky place is an example of space age utopian architecture. Made largely of plastic, the oil crisis nipped the design in the bud. Should you decide to build along these lines, here's some ideas for '70s decor.
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 22, 2003 - 16 comments

It wasn't my intention, after the first dream, to do anything

Happiness is a Dream of Fisher-Price
posted by anastasiav on Oct 15, 2003 - 9 comments

Sesame Seventies

Sesame Seventies is an informational website about the three disco-related Muppets/Sesame Street records released in the 1970s. It makes for a good argument in favor of file-sharing, it reveals some of the stranger children's music of the past twenty or so years, and it's cute. (warning, some flash)
posted by pxe2000 on Jun 24, 2003 - 19 comments

Avocado Memories

Avocado Memories. It's more than a photo collection and group of essays about his parents' failures with interior decoration; it's a nostalgic website brought about by Wes Clark's impulse to let his children know what it was like growing up during a more innocent age.
posted by debralee on Jun 17, 2003 - 9 comments

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