October 2009

The Whole Earth Catalog



I was first turned on to the Whole Earth Catalog by my friend and old boss, John Wackman. He described the catalog as the sort of "Sears Catalog of cool and interesting things" as well as "the first blog." He couldn't have been more right.  According to Wikipedia, "The Whole Earth Catalog was an American counterculture catalog published by Stewart Brand between 1968 and 1972, and occasionally thereafter, until 1998. Although the WECs listed all sorts of products for sale (clothing, books, tools, machines, seeds -- anything for a self-sustainable ""hippie" lifestyle) the Whole Earth Catalogs themselves did not sell any of the products. Instead the vendors and their prices were listed right alongside with the items. This led to a need for the Catalogs to be frequently updated. Apple Inc. founder and entrepreneur Steve Jobs has described the Catalog as the conceptual forerunner of the World Wide Web."

The catalog featured brief, blog-like entries on weird stuff that you would now find in selective, curated stores and websites around the city. These entries were written by the likes of: The Black Panthers, Walter / Wendy Carlos, William S. Burroughs, Peter Coyote, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Buckminster Fuller, Ram Daas, Wavy Gravy, Ken Kessey, Paul Krassener, Dalai Lama, Timothy Leary, Alice Waters, The Yippies, and so many more.

Some of the more notable article titles included:

The Global Mushroom Trade
The Double Bubble Wheel Engine
Left Handed Bears and Androgynous Cassowaries
Poets on the Bum
The Ultimate Swiss Omni Knife
Son of Man Temple
What are People For?
Computational Chemistry
A Witch's Manifesto
Do It Yourself Eclipse Prediction
Obeying Chogyam Trungpa
Outside the Yuppie Zoo
The Living Water Garden
God is a Verb
Tiptoeing Out of Real Estate
Dr. Seuss: Architect of Social Change
Death Does Not Exist
Am I Psychic Yet?
The Beauty of Disconnection
Organizing Programs as Mind Extension Tools
Juggling and Performing Mathematics
Big Foot No Longer Fair Game
A Hard Look at Soft Woods
King Kong Died For Our Sins
Model Rockets

From the opening page of the 1969 Catalog:


The WHOLE EARTH CATALOG functions as an evaluation and access device. With it, the user should know better what is worth getting and where and how to do the getting. An item is listed in the CATALOG if it is deemed:

       1. Useful as a tool,
       2. Relevant to independent education,
       3. High quality or low cost,
       4. Not already common knowledge,
       5. Easily available by mail.

    CATALOG listings are continually revised according to the experience and suggestions of CATALOG users and staff.   


We are as gods and might as well get good at it. So far, remotely done power and glory—as via government, big business, formal education, church—has succeeded to the point where gross defects obscure actual gains. In response to this dilemma and to these gains a realm of intimate, personal power is developing—power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested. Tools that aid this process are sought and promoted by the WHOLE EARTH CATALOG.


Categories: Reading List, Hippies, Books

Boston Tea Party Posters




















Sixties Posters has assembled the largest collection of Boston Tea Party posters I've seen anywhere and the best part is that you can bid on them. You'll need deep pockets though.

The Boston Tea Party was a concert venue located on 53 Berkeley Street in Boston, Massachusetts.

Originally the site of a synagogue, and then a street mission, the location was later converted into a venue that showed underground films, before being bought by Ray Riepen and David Hahn and converted again into a concert venue. It opened as a rock music hall on January 20, 1967.

The venue became associated with the psychedelic movement, being similar in this way to other contemporary rock halls such as New York's Fillmore East and Electric Circus, San Francisco's Fillmore West, and Philadelphia's Electric Factory.

The early history of this venue is documented in the book Mansion on the Hill by Fred Goodman.


You might also like: Stereolab Album Covers & The Mystery of Hotcha! | Alan Aldridge | Barney Bubbles | Milton Glaser | Vintage Book Covers | Sister Corita | Anonima Group

Bikini Machines (Way too good of a blog)

Want to waste 3 hours of your life that you'll never get back? Go to Bikini Machines, they have one of the most amazing collections of retro images I've ever seen. Be warned: Their blog is absolutely not safe work.
















Alan Aldridge | Artist






Images sourced here

Read about him here

William Klein | Movie Maker




The multifaceted artist William Klein is everything but a conformist. He is in fact its antithesis, making the most of each opportunity he has to question all conventions, be it in the world of photography or film. He craves the eccentric and out of the ordinary, he explores behind the scenes and brings to light the absurd, the forgotten and the rejected. He seeks not to please but rather to provoke; with wit and humor he reveals what others choose to ignore.

Just after World War II, Klein, the 18-year-old Jewish New Yorker was sent to Germany to do his military service. Two years later he went to Paris, where he met the love of his life and future collaborator, Jeanne Florin. He studied painting with Fernand Léger, but soon began his photographic career shooting fashion photos for Vogue (New York) magazine and then moving to street photography. His first book, New York (Life Is Good & Good for You in New York: Trance Witness Revels) changed the course of photography. His innovative choice of subject matter and use of wide-angle lenses, out-of-focus elements, and grainy film were criticized at the time but soon earned him international recognition.

In 1958, encouraged by his friends Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, Klein began his filmmaking adventure with the short Broadway by Light. With Times Square as the stage and the neon signs as ready-mades, Klein created an exquisite collage of words, lights, and abstract images that was considered to be the first Pop movie.

With the swinging sixties came Klein’s first feature film, the luscious Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? (1966), a satire on the extravagance and superficiality of the media and the fashion world. With a truly unique style, Klein cunningly cuts from one genre to another, from fiction to false documentary, passing through animation, musical comedy, and even a bit of cinéma verité.

As Klein approached his forties, the war in Vietnam was at its peak and he became overtly political. In 1967 he joined with Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard, Agnès Varda, Claude Lelouch, Joris Ivens, and Chris Marker to make the film Loin du Vietnam, a direct attack on U.S. foreign policy.

Long before comic book characters became a trend in film, Klein created Mr. Freedom (1968), which features a superhero who incarnates the United States’ God-like attitude toward the world. This hilarious farce offers an unmerciful critique of the American government as well as other political doctrines such as Maoism and Stalinism. Initially banned in France, it presents a harmonious and yet disturbing explosion of color, violence, and humor.

(Continuing reading at Walker Art Blog)



Shake Shack Burger Recipe

I wasn't going to post this because most people have seen it, but I made this recipe last night and it was pretty close to the real thing. The Shake Shack makes one of the best burgers in New York and some dude from MIT cracked their secret recipe and posted it on A Hamburger Today and the recipe actually works.  Here's what the dude from MIT says:

"I admit it: my tastes are not strikingly original. I'm obsessed with the Beatles, Beethoven is my god, and I even think Bono is a pretty neat guy. Nevertheless, I've consciously tried to avoid all things at the intersection of over-hyped and New York, until a couple years ago when I finally forced myself to stand on line for a hamburger in the name of research—a hamburger that changed my life.

Yes, I'm talking about the Shack Burger from Shake Shack, of which more than enough has been written about already. I'm not here to wax poetic about what Josh Ozersky has dubbed "the platonic ideal of a hamburger"—rather, I'm here to talk about a way to skip the line that doesn't involve standing outside at 9 p.m. on a rainy Tuesday night: Just make the Shack Burger at home. Easier said than done.

There's nothing special about the burger—regular squishy bun, a 1/4-pound patty of griddled meat, lettuce, tomato, and sauce—but like all good burger experiences, the sandwich is far more than a sum of its parts. To recreate the experience at home, I had to eat it, dissect it, deconstruct it, research it, eat it some more, rebuild it, break it down again, reconfigure it, taste it, eat it one more time, and finally reconstruct it again. Here are the results of my labor, from the ground up."

...and here's the recipe

Categories: Recipes, Food, Burgers

Crash Course in Science on The Uncle Floyd Show


People who grew up in the tri-state area, mostly in New York and especially in New Jersey are familiar with Uncle Floyd.  He was the host of The Uncle Floyd Show that ran on New Jersey Network and it was basically the coolest show on earth.  It had puppet shows, all sorts of weird NJ legends, like R. Steevie Moore (Ariel Pink's main influence) and music guests like The Ramones, The Misfits, Cyndi Lauper, David Johansen, Chubby Checker, Dr. Demento, Pussy Galore, The Dead Boys and so on.  It was like the best of WFMU if WFMU were on televsion. 

Anyways, he also had Crash Course in Science on his show, who were a late 70's Philadelphia band that used kitchen appliances and such as instruments. The first video is of them on Uncle Floyd Show and the bottom videos are their "hit" tracks Cardboard Lamb and Flying Turns.



If you like this you Crash Course in Sciene you will almost definitely like Die Doraus & Die Marinas | Non Band | Space | The Droids | Joachim Witt | Edgard Varese & Le Corbusier and if you made it this far you should also probably check Kill For Total Peace! because they are the best band out right now... hands down... bar none.

Richard Allen | The Charles Dickens of Skinheads






Red 777
Undo Mundo

"James Moffat (1922-1993) was a Canadian-born writer who once published a magazine about bowling and who, under sundry pseudonyms, wrote hack fiction (westerns, children’s stories, mysteries). In 1970 he was asked because he was so versatile and prolific, to write a book for the New English Library about skinheads, the white working-class youths whose thuggery seemed, to some, an authentic cry of alienation and, to others, the decline of Western civilisation.

Allen’s first novel, Skinhead, uneasily combined self-righteous fascist rhetoric, nihilist indifference and the shocked voice of reason. But it succeed with its authentic portrayal of Joe Hawkins, the 16-year old gangster convinced the Cockneys had lost control of their patch, London, and whose life of rape, drink and hooliganism ends in a kind of triumph when he is jailed for beating a cop – a punishment which, he gloats, makes him king of the skinheads.

After that sold a million, the formula stayed pretty constant for 17 other novels – seven with the words “skin” or ‘Skinhead’ in the title. Allen bought to the task an enthusiasm for research, speed – he once completed a novel in less than a week – narrative drive and pulp fair. The opening line of Suedehead is masterful: “As he stood in the dock, Joe Hawkins considered the situation with a detachment”. Yet the author, uncomfortable with charges he encouraged violence, later blamed “leniency in courtrooms, catering to fads by mercenary-minded rage-trade merchants, a soft-peddling attitude by politicians who look for teenage votes and a overwhelming pandering by the media”.

Rediscovered in his seventies, Allen was planning a sequel Skinhead Return, when years of writing at short notice aided by tobacco and booze finally caught up with him. He died in 1993."

- The Richard Allen Project

Seventies Images









About 360 more images here

Categories: Design