In addition to being a talented saxophonist, the late Art Pepper was many things -- among them, a drug addict, a thief, an alcoholic and a writer. This personal film portrait (from 1981) reveals the fascinating life of a remarkable jazz musician in his own words, as he describes his dreams, his criminal past, his upbringing and the meaning of his tattoos. He died the next year. [more inside]
One week from today, The Flaming Lips will release their full album cover of The Beatles' iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. NPR is now streaming the entire record for preview. [more inside]
"Everything is fine and the world is beautiful. It's raining, it's dark, I woke up at 5:30AM, I'm commuting in traffic. I would have had a headache, I would have been miserable, I would have wondered how my life took me to this point. This point I'm at right now. But no, no, everything is fine. Life is beautiful. The rain drops are just falling and in each one I see the reflection of every persons life around me. Humanity is beautiful. In this still frame shot of traffic on this crowded bus I just found love and peace. Heroin is a wonder drug. Heroin is better than everything else. Heroin makes me who I wish I was. Heroin makes life worth living. Heroin is better than everything else." [more inside]
The women's magazine parody The Reductress (previously) has unleashed the end-all be-all of brand-dropping, pill-popping nightlife columns: Slave To The Night Thoughts by Our Nightlife Editor, Dafna VanClifton
Love's Secret Ascension: Coil, Coltrane & The 70th Birthday Of LSD. "Author and new Quietus writer Peter Bebergal celebrates the original synthesis of LSD with a thoughtful look at acid and transcendent, magickal music." [Via Technoccult] [more inside]
With the momentous series finale of Breaking Bad just hours away, fans of the show are hungry for something, anything to wile away the time before the epic conclusion tonight. So why not kick back and chew the fat with your fellow MeFites with the help of a little tool I like to call "The Periodic Table of Breaking Bad." [more inside]
Sly Stone's history of drug addiction and eccentricity is well known. But, a recent California Court of Appeals ruling details how a series of ill advised business deals left Stone destitute. [more inside]
For ages humankind has struggled with the definitive question of existence. To wit, "Can An Intelligent Person Like Phish?" A writer for Parks and Recreation says yes, but upon further field investigation involving large quantities of booze, psychedelics, pot, and "moonrocks" (Earwolf podcast) the answer is, obviously, no.
After years of rumored depression, drug and alcohol addiction, and legal issues, D'Angelo is poised to make a comeback. [more inside]
Brenda Kenneally documents the effects of illegal drugs in her Brooklyn, New York neighborhood. Money Power Respect and Big Trigg. NSFW [previous comment]
Honyanko bushi, Tsurumanzoku, Butamatsuri, and Nevaneva Land are music videos produced by Obakejaa. [NSS (Not Seizure Safe), MLYT]
Amy Winehouse has Emphysema. The 24 year old artist, whose career has netted multiple awards but has often been overshadowed by her drug use, now faces a lung condition that can be slowed but never reversed, with effects ranging from shortness of breath to cyanosis and heart faliure.
Reefer Man - Heroin - Cokane In My Brain - Sister Morphine - Purple Haze - Don't Bogart Me - The Pusher. [more inside]
Stop Snitchin' may be the hidden link between hip hop and the 1980s alternative rock group, House of Freaks. According to the New York Post, journalist Ethan Brown has accomplished "making the Stop Snitching movement seem reasonable" in his new book Snitch: Informants, Cooperators, and the Corruption of Justice. Brown argues that harsh mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses have created a "cottage industry of cooperators" and informants who fabricate evidence, because Provision 5K1.1 of federal sentencing guidelines gives leniency in exchange for "substantial assistance to authorities." According to Brown, two of these criminal cooperators included Ray Dandridge and Ricky Gray, the perpetrators of the Richmond spree murders that ended the life of Brian Harvey of House of Freaks, his wife, and his two children. On the other hand, Mark Kleiman argues that the Stop Snitchin' movement has driven homicide clearance rates so low that, in some cities, "you have a better than even chance of literally getting away with murder." [more inside]
Please enjoy vintage video propaganda:
Don't Be A Sucker
The Enemy Agent & You
Your Job in Germany
So They Tell Me and
Don't Be A Sucker
The Enemy Agent & You
Your Job in Germany
So They Tell Me and
More fun from the Daily Mail. Apparently Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones has decided to post bits from his upcoming autobiography. 1| 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 [more inside]
NickCaveFilter: Fifty years ago this very day, Nicholas Edward Cave [previously] crawled from the womb and started to plot. At 16 he formed his first band which evolved quickly into the Boys Next Door [Shivers]. This in turn mutated into the Birthday Party (1980) who terrorised the post-punk soundscape in Australia and the UK [Release the Bats | Nick the Stripper]. The Birthday Party relocated to England and in 1984 the band imploded in an orgy of drugs and booze. Shortly after Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were born [The Ship Song - video & solo live | The Mercy Seat - video & live | Where the Wild Roses Grow], and 23 years and 11 studio albums later (not to mention a best selling book, a great screenplay, some acting and several soundtrack projects) he is still going strong. But, instead of sitting on his musical laurels he decided to get back to basics and, in 2006, grew a huge moustache and formed Grinderman – a four piece with a primeval hybrid Birthday Party/Bad Seeds sound [No Pussy Blues | Honey Bee]. Fellow Mefites, I ask you to raise a glass to Mr. Cave… And, especially if you are not familiar to his work, don’t forget to “look inside” for my primer on the enigma that is Nick Cave, one of the finest song-writers on the face of this miserable planet. [more inside]
Brad Laidman critiques the findings from the Centre For Public Health at Liverpool John Moore University report [pdf] 'Elvis to Eminem: quantifying the price of fame through early mortality of European and North American rock and pop stars.' [more inside]
To be a Sapeur in Kinshasa is to treat every trash-strewn alley or muddy street as a fashion catwalk. Inspired by Congolese rumba star Papa Wemba* and his Société des Ambianceurs et Persons Élégants* (le Sape), urban peacocks cheerfully adopted "Religion Kitembo”, literally the worship of clothes. "The Pope of the Sapes" himself appears to have undergone a conversion since his recent legal troubles. Photo gallery by Héctor Mediavilla. *sound
'I'm bringing Paxil back' [Quicktime]
For most musicians, it's difficult to pinpoint a particular event that forever sullied their image and destroyed their popularity. For 80's rocker Billy Squier, however, the reason is clear. [YouTube]
Inner City Youth, London "In 2002, Simon Wheatley began photographing London's publich housing developments...and was able to obtain a level of intimacy with his subjects that provides a true picture of the daunting project of growing up in the intimate confines of drug use, societal neglect, and poverty." This (Flash-based) narrated slideshow features Wheatley's work, and is a look at the culture...and also the music (grime) "as an artistic response to the place and circumstance, an expression of the violence, bleakness, and neglect..." (via Future Feeder)
Krautrock: From the hypnotic rhythms and melodies of Can, to the revolutionary electronics of Kraftwerk. Krautrock was a genre that spawned many genius acts. The communal bands like Amon Duul II and Siloah that were soon to be emulated by cult-like restaurant owners, Ya Ho Wha . There were the obscure acts like Zweistein whose sound evokes thoughts of current bands like Animal Collective and Wooden Wand. And there were albums the ground-breaking albums like Tangerine Dream's dark, ambient, Phaedra and the Manuel Gottsching record E2-E4 which is considered to be the first techno album ever produced. Needless to say, Krautrock's influence has been lasting and monumental.
"I know these desires could kill me dead, but how you gonna act instead?" So sings eros-haunted Delta-blues-steeped songwriter Chris Whitley on his superbly dark new album, Soft Dangerous Shores, and he's not kidding -- Whitley is currently "very very ill" and receiving hospice care. After Whitley's 1991 debut, Living with the Law, the slim (drug-addicted?) songwriter was acclaimed by his peers as "the real deal." When he was dropped by Sony in 1998, he released an album of stark poetic beauty recorded in a barn, Dirt Floor. Soft Dangerous Shores updates Whitley's coiled-viper resophonic guitars with dreamlike electronic atmospheres (one reviewer describes it as "a hypnotic wrestling match between juke joint blues and Kraftwerkian beats"). Instead of posting an elegy for another underappreciated self-destructive genius a la Nick Drake after his death, check out Whitley's music (via free downloads) while he's still with us on Earth.
LSD documentary records were a forgotten side-track in the war on drugs, reaching a high point in 1966 with the release of LSD, an album featuring interviews with Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsburg, and Ken Kesey, and featuring a live recording (which may or may not have been real) of a kid going on his first bad trip. (Not to be confused with Leary's own record of the same title.) In 1966, with neither internet nor home video, the record album was one of the most sophisticated communications media available, and it was a big year for LSD hysteria, with a LIFE cover story and a Sal Mineo-narrated LSD version of Reefer Madness called Hallucination Generation. LSD-related magazines and periodicals, reviews of psychedelic music, and more from lysergia.com.
Underwear Goes Inside The Pants (video) is a nice little ditty about the condition of the world in 2004.
Narco corridos ("drug ballads"), the modern variant of the traditional Mexican corrido, are often likened to gangsta rap-- the songs tend to glorify drug traffickers, the most famous performers are mysteriously murdered, and Mexican radio stations have banned them entirely, hoping to curb drug-related violence. (And while I must sheepishly admit that I hadn't even heard of them until I heard this segment--an interview with Elijah Wald[RA link] on NPR last week, I'm now obsessed.)