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Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008


Don’t you just hate the false sentiment, the “love them or else” aura that surrounds this so called holiday of love. Ever since marketers discovered that people respond well to social and cultural peer pressure (“everyone is giving diamonds, so why not you, you jerk!”), the most minor of calendar calls has been magnified to maximize shame, and guilt-related spree spending. Valentine’s Day is no different. Where once little kids gave scraps of paper with semi-clever compliments (“Bee My Special Friend” with mandatory bumble), or chalky little candies, the pre-post-proto-modern mindset reels at anything less than designer chocolates, mutant sized bouquets of flora, and a sting of ‘oh so’ precious stones.


There is a way to get back at all this lovey dovey horse hockey and preserve the spirit of merriment and festivity, however. Instead of worshipping yet another questionable saint, why not simply strike the sacrosanct and go gratuitous. Those completely in touch with the practical and the profane know that the perfect antidote to lace and frills is lechery and thrills. And nowhere are such baser instincts better represented than in the world of exploitation. Among the naked bodies and whip whelped backsides, in between the depravity and the debauchery, there’s a chance to have your cake and smear it all over your sex partner too.


“Vile-entines”, as we purists refer to it, can be a ‘whenever’ experience. Any day can be a grindhouse day. Yet what better way to acknowledge your left field obsessions than with flesh feasts from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s? Isn’t that better than a Build a Bear? While not all drive-in fodder finds its way onto the big picture, if one categorizes the many objects de amore available, the possibilities become far more manageable. Like the song once said, if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. And with that, here are ten carnal classifications that would make any defiant romantic weep with wanton joy:



Love of SATAN


While the traditional holiday adores the cherub and the cutesy, the antithesis celebrates the demonic and the blasphemous. Since most relationships end up as a living Hell anyway, why not cut out the middle man (or woman) and simply give the Devil your direct attention. Whether it’s a trip to the Asylum of Satan, a quick game of statues with Satan’s Children, a how to guide in worshipping the Beast from Satanis: The Black Mass, or a romp with Sinthia: The Devil’s Doll, there are at least 666 ways to leave your lover…for Lucifer. Besides, fire and brimstone are far more practical gifts.



Love of DRUGS


Everyone needs to feed their head now and again - and no, we aren’t talking about BOOKS, Grace Slick. If unforgettable films like Ghetto Freaks, Alice in Acidland, The Hooked Generation, and Psyched by the 4D Witch have taught us anything, it’s that the best way to turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream is through the ingestion of massive amounts of dope. Opiates, be they injected, snorted, or smoked, just make sense this time of year. After all, how else will you get through the endless saccharine emotions and suggestions that you’re less than a lothario without coughing up cash.



Love of PAIN


If you believe in duality, there is a cause for every effect, some nausea for every naked exploitation actress. Logically then, for all the pleasure around, there has got to be some pain. No one knew this better than the late, great, degenerate Michael Findlay. Via his massively mean spirited Flesh Trilogy (The Kiss of Her Flesh, The Curse of Her Flesh, The Touch of Her Flesh), he created the serial killer slasher film and a perfect advertisement for the seductiveness of sadism. Granted, people do get hurt under this sort of sensuality, especially around the throat, cranium, and breadbasket. But just like a romantic tattoo, a scar is forever.



Love of the SUN


Nudists know best - especially when it comes to stripping off the skin covering and letting the Milky Way’s largest power source bathe their bodies in Vitamin D giving (and malignant melanoma causing) sunlight. Worshipping said source of all bio-chemical existence is the main point behind such epidermis exposing efforts as Nude on the Moon, Gentlemen Prefer Nature Girls, Goldilocks and the Three Bares, and The Naked Venus. Of course, the reality of such a lifestyle choice involves stigmas, occlusions, hirsute happenstance, and lots and lots of moles. They say the human form unsheathed is a beautiful thing. We’ll take their word for it.



Love of BURLESQUE


Matronly-like seductresses doing a bawdy bump and grind. Baggy pants comedians cracking wise. Singers rejoicing in the fine art of melody trashing. All this, and much, much less can be yours if you just let efforts like A Virgin in Hollywood, Too Hot to Handle, Varietease, and Teaserama be your exotic dancing guide. The one time cultured repast, considered quite swanky for sub and urban swells, now resembles grandma getting dolled up in a rather inappropriate manner. Still, if glamour and seduction is an art, then these pancaked pack mules are the very definition of Victoria’s Secret - and perhaps they should stay that way.



Love of HILLBILLIES


Since they’re raised in the backest of backwoods, guided by parents who may be related both legally and genealogically, rednecks are a wonderful repository of unrequited (and un-hygienic) passion. Whether it’s the full figured farmer’s bride in such rural rube classics as Sweet Georgia or Jennie: Wife/Child, or sexually wound up offspring like The Pigkeeper’s Daughter or Tobacco Roody, the results are always the same: more indirect animal husbandry; more kin on kin canoodling; more moonshine inspired spooning. And the occasional trip to the outhouse, just to make sure everything - and everyone - stays good and regular.



Love of the OVERLY AMPLE BOSOM


Chesty Morgan is definitely the cover girl for Vile-entines Day. Lacking much of Betty Pages’ allure, and none of Pat Barrington’s siliconed savvy, this Polish immigrant by way of some industrial sized lingerie is a dead eyed body double sold for her excessive skin only. Attractive in a perogies-producing, earnest Eastern European manner, Ms. FF turned standard sexploitation like Deadly Weapons and Double Agent 73 into crazed cult classics. And if she can do that to the most overdone and derivative of ‘60s/‘70s sleaze, imagine how she can perk up your love life - either that, or your gag reflex.



Love of ROBOTS


While the main premise of the film centers on your typical mad medico trying to resurrect the dead with some special white powder (hey - it worked for Liza Minelli and Andy Warhol), there is a musical interlude in the middle of Swamp of the Ravens that suggests automatons and arousal go hand in hand. As a sweaty longue lizard squawks about his ardor for an amiable android, we see him grope and ogle a mannequin. At least it all seems very innocent. The creepy pervert in Doris Wishman’s Indecent Desires fondles a child’s doll to get his jollies. Now that’s just sick!



Love of PROSTITUTION


Ladies of the night…women of ill-repute…street slags…brothel babes…you nickname them, Vile-entines just eats them up. In films like The Hookers, The Agony of Love, and The Love Merchant, girls giving it up for cash and the pimps pushing them are semi-respectable reflections of a society gone soft and squishy. The easy access to paid passion is always given its main moral comeuppance, but along the way we experience the dueling dichotomy of supply and demand wrapped up in being a whore. And then there are those honeys who think they’re beyond the whole “name your price” predicament. Too bad they can’t see the forest for the Johns.



Love of VIOLENCE


Roses are red…and so are clots of bloody gore! In keeping with the ‘heartfelt’ sentiments of the season, rivers of clarets have come to symbolize what this sleazoid celebration is all about. Whether it’s the old school splatter of Blood Feast (complete with gratuitous conversational innuendo), the subtle slaughter of Doctor Gore, or the live child birth footage from such reddened roadshow classics as Street Corner and Damaged Goods, sluice signifies the best of what this holiday has to offer. And there’s no better way to get close to your potential lover than via a quick trip with a meat cleaver through his or her alimentary canal.


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Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008
by Jodi S. Cohen and Tara Malone

By Jodi S. Cohen and Tara Malone


Chicago Tribune (MCT)



Journalists love to debate the use of anonymous sources, but the discussion this week at Northwestern University’s journalism school is no hypothetical: the texts are published columns by the controversial dean of the school, John Lavine.


Earlier this week, a columnist for The Daily Northwestern, a student newspaper, questioned the use of anonymous quotes in two introductory letters Lavine wrote last year for the Medill alumni magazine.


“I sure felt good about this class. It is one of the best I’ve taken,” reads part of one quotation, which, Lavine wrote, “a Medill junior told me.”


The unnamed student appears to be talking about a class in which students developed “a fully integrated marketing program,” an emphasis which Lavine has promoted over the protest of some alumni and students.


In the same piece, Lavine quotes “one sophomore” who glowingly praises a new reporting program, concluding, “This is the most exciting my education has been.”


At Medill, one of the country’s premier journalism schools, training in the careful use of unnamed sources is emphasized.


Professors routinely require students to submit names and contact information for every person quoted in their articles, a guard against fabrication.


So Lavine’s use of anonymous quotes raised the suspicions of David Spett, a Medill senior and Daily Northwestern columnist.


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Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008

Frederic Bastiat, a 19th-century French free-trade polemicist, is a highly entertaining writer who reaches almost Swiftian heights in ridiculing protectionist “sophisms,” and one of his best essays, “A Petition” may have inspired one of the best Simpsons episdoes, the one in which Mr. Burns plans to blot out the sun to help his energy business. Bastiat often refutes protectionism by enjoining us to look at things from the consumer’s point of view—tariffs protect producers at the expense of consumers, impoverishing everyone who would otherwise benefit from the magic of comparative advantage. “Consumption is the goal of all our efforts,’ he declares in a typical formulation, “and it is only by adopting the point of view of the consumer that we shall find the solution to all our problems.” This is a core idea of neo-classical economics, that the point of production is consumption, and maximizing consumption maximizes well-being. As Bastiat says, “human labor is not an end but a means. It never remains unemployed.” The last part of that is to refute the lump-of-labor fallacy; human ingenuity will find new uses for our productive capacity and we can never run out of work. But why? The answer to that runs counter to Bastiat’s first proposition, that labor is a means. It is also an end, in that people need meaningful work to perform in order to be personally fulfilled. This notion is at the heart of the early Marxian critique of Adam Smith in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts.


So when we are encouraged to fixate on the consumer’s point of view to resolve all sorts of labor-related economic issues, what we’re essentially being told is: Give up your fantasy of meaningful work and be happy with the range of goods you can consume. Be a shopper, not a maker.


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Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008
by PopMatters Staff

SSION
Clown (Moves!!! Rework) [MP3]
     


Clown (Original) [MP3]
     


SSION - “Heaven” Live at Whoop Dee Doo!


Headlights
Cherry Tulips [MP3] (from Some Racing, Some Stopping out on 19 February)
     


Samamidon
Louis Collins [MP3]
     


Dodos
Jody [MP3]
     


Frightened Rabbit
The Modern Leper [MP3]
     


More On This Album


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Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008

While it’s not the definitive or last study about this, there’s an interesting Hypebot article which claims that blogs have more influence over record purchases than MySpace.  Supposedly, MS helped Lily Allen to become a UK star but the Arctic Monkeys deny that MS was the vehicle that launched them.  It’ll be interesting to see other studies about this.


Also wanted to note this L.A. Times article about how fans are getting involved in artists’ careers by becoming their patrons/producers.  It’s not an entirely new model (patronage goes back centuries and the fan-as-producer model is more than a few years old now) but it’s worth mentioning and repeating after you hear all the gloomy music biz stories and wonder how artists are gonna carry on in a brave new Net world.


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