If turning into an egotistical asshole is not enough reason for you to stop doing coke, study suggests excessive use causes your cells to commit suicide

New favorite phrase: uncontrolled autophagy.




Learning about David Bowie via his opinion on 25 diverse albums in his record collection. Really, a must read!


Let me count the reasons that I love this:

  1. The diversity of the picks and unimpeachability of the selection.
  2. His recall for when and where he bought a record. Absolutely a sign of a true obsessive.
  3. He remembers the people who ran his local department store record section, from his childhood, by name.
  4. This statement about the above mentioned store and his relationship with a certain clerk: “Jane Greene, their counter assistant, took a liking to me, and whenever I would pop in, which was most afternoons after school, she would let me play records in the “sound booth” to my heart’s content till the store closed at 5:30 P.M. Jane would often join me, and we would smooch big-time to the sounds of Ray Charles or Eddie Cochran. This was very exciting, as I was around 13 or 14 and she would be a womanly 17 at that time. My first older woman.” Smooch big time!
  5. That he remembers the Psychedelic Art collective, The Fool.
  6. 6. He credits Daevid Allen’s Bananamoon with being Proto-Glam
  7. He gave his vinyl copy of Linton Kwesi Johnson’s, Forces of Nature, to Mos Def, incorrectly thinking he had CD copy, and was looking for a replacement copy.
  8. He discusses the awkward introduction of Scott Walker’s influence.
  9. He refers to Glenn Branca’s music as having “an effect akin to the drone of Tibetan Buddhist monks but much, much, much louder.”, and knows that David Rosenbloom and Lee Ranaldo were members of the ensemble.
  10. He knows that Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg, former Fugs, had currently rejoined forces for a new album, and says that the CIA had them on watch as The Fags.
  11. His acknowledgement of his own trendsetter status as the first to record a Velvet Underground cover, pre-VU and Nico release (though the Downliners Sect covered a pre-VU Reed and Cale song, Why Don’t You Smile Now, in 1966)
  12. Anyone who gives it up for Harry Partch gets points.

My only complaint is that he uses the plural, with “s”, when referring to vinyl, an admittedly petty pet peeve of mine, which I will attribute to his being British. But it’s Bowie, so you know it was charming as hell when he said it.

From Vanity Fair, November 2013.

In preparation for her forthcoming autobiography, and unrelated BBC produced documentary, check out this section of Grace Jones, from Queens of Disco.

One thing that I’ve learned from this blog’s analytics, is that people love Grace Jones. As such, there has been a pretty impressive amount of internet buzz about her soon to be released autobiography. Unfortunately the hottest topic about said bio, is Grace calling out current Pop/R&B divas for having stolen her style. Her comments that I’ve seen in regards to this are actually pretty tame (certainly by Jones’ standards), and there’s no doubt as to the influence that Jones has had upon the world of fashion, music, film and beyond. Even her tough as nails, take no shit persona can be seen as a blueprint being used, if often wielded poorly, by many current stars. That’s my problem with that subject though. Jones is infinitely more fascinating a character than today’s stars and focusing solely on her influence upon, and acknowledgement of, actually diminishes her own status, as these sites merely concentrate on those comments, dropping the names that are inescapable in modern celebrity press.

Anyway, here’s hoping that autobiography sells millions

Song of The Day: Althea and Donna – Uptown Top Ranking

It’s a lovely day out and time for some island sounds. I never tired of this gem. The pair were still in their teens when it was recorded, earning them the honor of being the youngest female duo to score a Number One UK chart placement. A Joe Gibbs production.

Happy birthday, Nina Hagen! Pt I – Videos, concerts, interviews and a documentary

Even within the diverse field that the term Punk Rock encompasses, there is no one quite like Nina Hagen. Born to parents working within the arts and entertainment community, Hagen received formal artisitic training at a young age, studying ballet at four years old and being declared an operatic prodigy by nine. Her artistic studies continued, as did work as an actress, until her graduation from The Central Studio for Light Music in East Berlin at eighteen, at which time she formed the band Automobil.

While Autombil was garnering attention for Hagen’s talents, her step father, a singer and political activist, was denied re-entry into their homeland of East Germany, following a concert in West Germany. Clearly disgusted by such circumstances, Hagen threatened to become an agitator herself, and requested permission to leave the country, which she was quickly granted.

Now in Hamburg, Hagen signed a record deal and traveled to London, arriving just as the Punk Rock movement was exploding. The trip was to change both her sound and look dramatically. Her theatricality rose to the forefront as her style became even more outrageous. Her first two albums, each contained a cover of performers within the larger scope of Punk, The Tubes, White Punks On Dope, became TV Glotzer (with different lyrics), and Hagen’s friend, Lene Lovich, provided the source for Lucky Number. Both songs were dramatic, almost over the top, and perfectly suited for Hagen’s developing range and direction.

For me, it was not until her third LP, 1982’s, NunSexMonkRock, that all of these converging influences coalesced into a perfectly defined Nina Hagen statement. in 1980, Hagen moved to California, then briefly back to Germany, only to return to LA in 1982, recording the album in New York with a varied cast of musicians. The album features Paul Roessler, known for playing in such influential Punk groups as, The Screamers, 45 Grave, Nervous Gender, and Geza X, veteran British session musician, Chris Spedding, and Paul Schaffer, who was just beginning his career as bandleader for The Late Show With David Letterman. The resultant album displays her Operatic vocal talents, and awesomely creepy low register growling, in a Punk/Funk/Reggae/Goth/New Wave/Hip-Hop/Disco amalgam. It’s just that kind of diverse stylistic confluence that contributed to making Nina Hagen, a true original, or as she stated on Merv Griffin, her “individual God identity”.

I love this interview with David Letterman. He seems to be entirely enamored of her, despite his obvious, total confusion as to what makes her tick. Paul must have given Dave some interesting stories of recording with her. One of those moments where Dave expresses some genuine affection.

All that I need say is that Nina, Don and Merv harmonize. Nina is Nina, Don is Don, and Merv, the consumate host.

Nina on spirituality and LSD

A trailer for Cha Cha, a film starring Nina, Lene Lovich and Herman Brood

Nina Hagen – Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen 1974 – MyVideo