Author Archive | JoeNolan

25 Years of “Wild at Heart”

Sailor

This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of my favorite David Lynch film, Wild at Heart. Released in 1990, Wild tells the tale of Sailor and Lula, a red-hot couple who are reunited when Sailor is released from prison. The pair take off on a cross-country road trip that turns into a journey that resembles The Wizard of Oz on mushrooms. The film won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival before becoming mired in controversy. The movie’s opening scene finds Sailor (Nicolas Cage) smashing the head of a would-be attacker hired by Lula’s (Laura Dern) mother against a marble stair step until his brains slurp out of the back of his head. Commentators claimed to be shocked by the scene — and they probably were — but the reaction against the film seemed to have more to do with the overall violence of the bizarre imagery and strange set scenes that make up this weird and wonderful tale.… Read the rest

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Dolls on Film

Dolls

This New York Dolls documentary was just uncovered by Noisey and it’s required viewing for anyone interested in punk’s early greatest days. From the site…

Directed by Nadya Beck and Bob Gruen, All Dolled Up: A New York Dolls Story is a feature-length documentary that was filmed in 1972, and sees the then-married pair follow the band from their early performances in New York at Kenny’s Castaways and Max’s Kansas City to their infamous West Coast tour. Expect to see raucous, debaucherous backstage antics, illuminating interviews, footage from the Whisky A Go Go, the Real Don Steele Show, Rodney Bingenheimer’s E Club, and much more. The documentary features the entire original lineup—David Johansen (vocals), Johnny Thunders (guitar), Sylvain Sylvain (guitar), Arthur Kane (bass), and Billy Murcia (drums)—and captures an image of the band before death, alcohol, and heroin tore it asunder. It’s an intimate look at rock’n’roll’s greatest underdogs that took in too much, too soon, but still always came out swinging.

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Fear of a Black Planet 25 Years Later

Fear_of_a_Black_Planet

This year is the 25th anniversary of the release of the Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet. The ambitious concept album followed-up on the success of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. That album’s socio-political observations found the band comparing that record to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Goin’ On, but the musical ambitions of Planet put the band in mind of making a masterpiece — this was their Sgt. Pepper’s. I’m posting all the music below, but first, here’s the Futuristically Ancient site, explaining the collection’s iconic cover art…

…here is a post about the album cover for Public Enemy’s 1990 album, Fear of a Black Planet. The original album artwork was designed by NASA illustrator, B.E. Johnson, who is still known today for his space art. While the album is a commentary on dangerous results of white supremacy, both the tracks and the apocalyptic cover are a reminder of how fragile our world and all the things in it, including our steadfast beliefs, are.

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Terence McKenna’s Timewave

Time-Wave-Zero-Sept-2012

Keeping with my recent posts on all things eschatological, here is a charming-as-hell, cyberific video of Terence McKenna explaining his Timewave Zero theory. Listen closely with your third eye and draw your yarrow sticks with care…

Stay Awake!

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel where I archive all of the videos I curate at Insomnia. Click here to check out more Counter Culture posts.

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The Video at the End of the World

CNNd of the world

Yesterday I posted about the connections between evangelical Christianity and belief in the biblical End Times. While I was flipping some new stories into our {R}emnants Flipboard mag yesterday afternoon I found another story about the end of the world involving a recently discovered video that Ted Turner had made for CNN. It was created to play when they sign off as that final trumpet blows. Here’s the scoop from Jalopnik

Thirty-four years ago, at the launch of Ted Turner’s Cable News Network, the founder made a grandiose and specific promise about his newly created round-the-clock operation. “Barring satellite problems, we won’t be signing off until the world ends,” Turner declared. And in anticipation, he prepared a final video segment for the apocalypse:

We’ll be on, and we will cover the end of the world, live, and that will be our last event. We’ll play the National Anthem only one time, on the first of June [the day CNN launched], and when the end of the world comes, we’ll play ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ before we sign off.Read the rest

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American End Times

Amerikan Apocalypse

Religion is all fun and games until someone takes their mythology too literally and then takes it to the squad car, the pulpit or the White House. It’s fun to make fun of fundamentalism, but when it comes to The Apocalypse, these playas ain’t playin’. The Daily Beast has the bad news

It’s the end of the world as they know it. So why do evangelicals worry so much?
Say “evangelical Christian,” and most people will probably think of Biblical fundamentalism, and opposition to the sexual revolution, feminism, LGBT equality, evolution, science, and secularism of all sorts. Historian Matthew Avery Sutton, however, wants you to think of something else: the End Times.

Today, fully 77 percent of U.S. evangelicals believe that we are living in the End Times, the last period before Christ returns to Earth to judge us all. That’s compared with 40 percent of Americans, and 51 percent of Protestants overall—still high numbers, when you think about it, but imagine a huge crowd at a mega-church or Christian Right political event.Read the rest

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Adopt an Argentine Werewolf

Lobizon

Last week my girlfriend shared a link with me via Facebook chat that seemed custom-made for one of my blog posts. It concerns a faraway country, political power, folklore, religion and lycanthropy. Here’s the story from Argentina as reported by The Independent

The President of Argentina has adopted a young Jewish man as her godson to “stop him turning into a werewolf”, according to tradition.

President Christina Fernández de Kirchner met Yair Tawil and his family at her office last week to mark the unusual ceremony, which dates back more than 100 years.

According to Argentinian folklore, the seventh son born to a family turns into the feared “el lobison”.

The werewolf-like creature shows its true nature on the first Friday after boy’s 13th birthday, the legend says, turning the boy into a demon at midnight during every full moon, doomed to hunt and kill before returning to human form.Read the rest

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Hugh Hefner Is Not Dead

Hugh

The other night I was feeling sleepy and thinking about hitting the hay. Out of nowhere my girlfriend told me that Hugh Hefner had died — she was surfing the internet on her phone. “Damn, Hugh Hefner is dead. The end of an era,” I thought.

The truth is that Hugh Hefner was the last victim of the 2014 death hoaxes that have plagued our collective media culture. Hugh Hefner is alive and well and presumably recovering from celebrating the ushering-in of 2015.

I was prepared to write a memorial about Hef’ and his heralding of the sexual revolution back in the 1950’s, and now I think I’m going to go ahead and highlight the man and his work anyway — after all the Playboy After Dark television show celebrated it’s 45th anniversary in 2014 following its debut in 1969.

Here is a massive playlist of vintage music performances from the show featuring the Grateful Dead, Deep Purple, Ike & Tina Turner, The Byrds, and interviews with celebrities like Sharon Tate from the program which ran through 1970.… Read the rest

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Lynch and Burroughs Release Best Photo Books of 2014

BurroughsLynch

In 1963, William S. Burroughs wrote down his photographic manifesto: “Take. Rearrange. Take.” For Burroughs, photography wasn’t an art form so much as it was a weapon he employed to disrupt time.

Ideas about the interactions between time, space, words and images will be familiar to any reader of Burroughs’ works, but it’s less likely that those same readers will recognize the camera-created images on display in Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs. Published by Photographers’ Gallery of London and Prestel, the book is co-edited by Particia Allmer and John Sears who curated a show of Burroughs photographs at Photographers’ Gallery earlier this year. The new book also features an essay by erstwhile Beat biographer Barry Miles.

The Taking Shots title refers directly to Burroughs’ no-nonsense approach to the camera, but also to the artist’s famous addictions to heroin and guns. Among Burroughs’ visual creations, his shotgun paintings are much more familiar than these pictures, but his collaged images created by re-photographing arrangements of photographs often burst and scatter with the same energy.… Read the rest

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Nikola Tesla Meets Orson Welles

Tesla

While David Bowie’s portrayal of Nikola Tesla in The Prestige is still my favorite on-screen depiction of the famous mad scientist, this 1980 production from Yugoslavia is an ambitious attempt at bringing Tesla’s tale to the cinema, and Orson Welles’ turn as J.P. Morgan is worth the price of admission. Here’s the Wiki…

The Secret of Nikola Tesla (Serbo-Croatian: ‘Tajna Nikole Tesle’), is a 1980 Yugoslav biographical film which details events in the life of the discoverer Nikola Tesla (portrayed by Serbian actor Petar Božović). Tesla was born to ethnic Serb parents in 1856 Croatia (at the time, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire). He arrived in New York in 1884, became an American citizen in 1891, made immense contributions to science and died in Manhattan at age 86 during World War II in 1943.[1]

This biography includes references to his amazing abilities of detailed mental visualization as well as the slowly intensifying personal habits, indulgences or eccentricities for which he became nearly as well known.Read the rest

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