• The International Times | What was the world's best underground paper

    I've been collecting underground newspapers forever and the Interantional Times is by far one of the best.  Soft Machine, PInk Floyd, Arthur Brown and more supported it. Paul McCartney donated money it. Burroughs, Ginsberg, Trocchi, John Peel and others wrote for it. Now, just about the entire archives are available on-line.  Holy shit. Go there now .
















    International Times (it or IT) was an underground paper founded in London in 1966.  The paper's logo was a black-and-white image of Theda Bara, vampish star of silent films. The founders' original intention had been to incorporate an image of the actress Clara Bow because she'd been known as The IT girl, but an image of Theda Bara was used by accident and, once deployed, was never changed. Paul McCartney donated to the paper.

    International Times was launched on 14 October 1966 at The Roundhouse at a gig featuring Pink Floyd. The event promised a 'Pop/Op/Costume/Masque/Fantasy-Loon/Blowout/Drag Ball and featured Soft Machine, steel bands, strips, trips, happenings, movies. The launch was described as "one of the two most revolutionary events in the history of English alternative music and thinking. The IT event was important because it marked the first recognition of a rapidly spreading socio-cultural revolution that had its parallel in the States" by David Allen of Soft Machine.

    From April 1967, and for some while later, the police raided the offices of International Times to try, it was alleged, to force the paper out of business. A benefit event labelled The 14 Hour Technicolor Dream took place at Alexandra Palace on 29 April 1967. Bands included Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, Savoy Brown, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Soft Machine, The Move, and Sam Gopal Dream.

    IT first ceased publication in 1972, after being convicted for running contact ads for gay men, and for a longer period in 1974, but merged with Maya, another underground publication, and was revived in 1975, continuing until 1982. It resurfaced in 1986... into the 1990s. There have been a total of 209 issues. It was a contemporary of other radical underground London magazines, Oz, Friends and Ink.

    Many people who became prominent UK figures wrote for IT, including feminist critic Germaine Greer, poet and social commentator Jeff Nuttall, and DJ John Peel. There were many original contributions from underground writers such as Alexander Trocchi; William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.

    In 1986 IT was relaunched by Tony Allen and Chris Brook. After two issues (Volume 86; issues 1,2) Allen left, and Brook continued with a reinvigorated editorial group for two more issues (Volume 86; issues 3,4). After various one-off issues into 1991, 2000 saw Brook and others create a web-based presence - initially through the alternative server 'Phreak', circa 1996.


    Categories: Magazines, Music, Politics, Zines, Sex
  • The Kill For Total Peace Album & The French Psychedelic Scene = RED HOT

    Got the full length Kill For Total Peace this weekend and let me tell you - this record is where it's at. These guys hail from Paris and I first heard them about 2 years when I picked up the compilation VOYAGE: Facing the History of French Modern Psychedelic Music.  The comp was compiled by psych mainstays, Turzi, and featured Kill For Total Peace's brilliant track Psychopedestrian - along with great tracks by One Swtich to Collision, Aqua Nebula Oscillator, Service and others.  I've posted them quite a bit on this blog, and some people might say I toot their horn too much, but fuck it - they're that good.

    Following this comp, it was all about Myspace research, and shortly after the release of the comp, the band's Myspace page was up and so was their track, Captain Amrica -  a driving, pulsating masterpiece, that for lack of a better description, reminded me of a scuzzed up LCD Soundsystem that takes on the  pounding anthem-like tune of Beat Connection & the hipness of Losing My Edge.  I'm horrible at describing music, but fans of LCD Soundsystem, Hawkwind, Suicide, The Fall, Spaceman 3, Crystal Castles, Moon Duo, Wooden Shjips, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Sic Alps & most of the stuff on Siltbreeze, will definitely dig this disc. I have a few copies of their disc and the first promoter that promises to bring them to New York gets one.


    Above: Kill for Total Peace - but listen on myspace for full effect


    One Switch to Collision


    Aqua Nebula Oscillator

  • The Other Work and Loves of Serge Gainsbourg

    Evguenie Sokolov


    This is the one and only novel by the 20th century provocateur of French pop music and film - the legendary Serge Gainsbourg . This prototype lusty punk tore into the threads of French society with his numerous films, music projects, and outlandish persona. He made recordings with Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin and a scandalous recording of "Lemon Incest" with his own daughter Charlotte. If that wasn't bad enough, he told Whitney Houston live on French TV that he would love 'to fuck' her.

    Evguenie Sokolov is a novel about an artist who uses his intestinal gases as the medium for his scandalous artwork. What once was a huge smelly and noisy problem in his social and sex life becomes a tool for success in the early eighties art world.

    Tam Tam

    Ja T'aime Moi Non Plus (I Love You...Me Neither)





    Je t'aime... moi non plus is a 1976 feature film directed by Serge Gainsbourg, starring Jane Birkin, Hugues Quester and Joe Dallesandro, and featuring a cameo by Gérard Depardieu.

    The plot of the movie centers on Krassky (Joe Dallesandro), a homosexual man, who is attracted to Johnny (Jane Birkin), a boyish looking woman. They begin an affair, which is complicated by the fact that he cannot achieve orgasm through vaginal intercourse. The pain of anal intercourse is so great for Johnny, though, that her screams cause them to be thrown out of a series of motels. After a scandal with Johnny, Krassky returns to his boyfriend Padovan (Hugues Quester).

    Je t'aime... moi non plus was the first film directed by Gainsbourg. Jane Birkin was his partner at that time. It includes elements of symbolism recurrent in Gainsbourg's work: death and sex. Depardieu has a few short appearances, playing a homosexual bestialist.






    Janey B




    Initials B.B.






    Serge's Grave

    ...apparently someone leaves a cigarette there every day



     Most images sourced from The Hound
  • The Tube - A Day In The Night of New York

    Jools Holland & Leslie Ash give you a glimpse of post-disco NYC, visiting the pivotal places and players of the downtown dance club scene. The Roxy, Danceteria, Arthur Baker, NYC Peech Boys, Klaus Nomi are given their proper due on this edition of BBC's The Tube.

    Sourced from Sktrachworx

  • TONIGHT'S EVENT: Chris Alker & Sal P of Liquid Liquid @ Le Poisson Rouge

    Raging against the dancing wasteland, OFF THE GRID is a once-a-month event which focuses on dance music that cannot typically be heard on a Friday or Saturday night. It will focus on a collage of Mutant Disco, Punk Funk, No Wave and rare B-Sides from the 70's & 80's.

    Special guest DJs who have contributed, or continue to contribute to expanding the musical spectrum in NY will share the decks each month with the Resident NY DJs Chris Alker and Monica Sharp.

    This month's special guest DJ is Sal P.

    Salvatore Principato is best known as the vocalist and percussionist of seminal minimalist-funk band Liquid Liquid, but his nearly three-decade career actually spans a wide variety of genres. Raised in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Principato relocated to San Francisco in the late 1970’s, where he performed spoken word, composed songs, and created short films.

    He soon returned to the New York area and joined Liquid Liquid with hometown friend Richard McGuire and Scott Hartley. After the band’s CBGB debut in August 1979, and the recruiting of new member Dennis Young, the band began recording for 99 Records and released three EPs: Liquid Liquid, Successive Reflexes (both 1981), and Optimo (1983). The group’s successes included massive club hits such as “Cavern,” “Bellhead,” and “Optimo,” in addition to sold-out concerts worldwide. “Cavern” became the basis of Grandmaster Flash’s rap classic, “White Lines (Don’t Do It).” Post-McGuire, the band released one final EP Dig We Must in 1984, before officially disbanding.

    Before long, Principato returned to music and formed the industrial-dub outfit Fist of Facts, which toured Europe and released a 12-inch EP Fugitive Vesco in 1988 and recently another limited edition Fist Of Facts record has been released by Claremont 56 out of London. In the early 1990’s, Principato began producing words-and-music shows in downtown New York clubs and galleries, as well as an annual series of free outdoor shows and a cable TV program based on these shows. He also drummed with a rock band Liki Outhaus, collaborated with the late Zen Guitar author Phil Toshio Sudo in the experimental music project Avant Garbage, and ran a downtown rehearsal studio. For the past few years, under the “Uni-ver-SAL” and “New Africa Presents” banners, he has produced many African and Caribbean music concerts and is currently promoting Universal Sundays, a weekly event in New York City.

    More info here
    Categories: Events, Music, No Wave
  • Various Photos and Flyers from the London & New York Club Scene circa late 70's / early 80's



















    Clubs include the Roxy, Mudd Club, The Bat Cave, The Blitz, Club 57. Danceteria, Cha Cha, & Hell. There's so much more here.

    Categories: Photography, Music
  • What to do when you've hit a wall | Advice from Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt

    In 1978 Brian Eno, a man who needs no introduction and Peter Schmidt, a British artist who amongst other things created art work for some of Eno's albums, published the first of five sets of cards displaying the artist's working philosophies, which they referred to as "Oblique Strategies". Within each set is a series of cards that contain a cryptic phrase, which can be used to break a creative standstill or dilemma.  According to Wikipedia, references to these cards have been made in the film, Slacker, as well as the REM song, What's The Frequency Kenneth. It is also said that both Coldplay and Phoenix used these strategies, which can be purchased as Apps for your iphone, when making their most recent records.


    Schmidt with Eno                                                                                                   A portrait of Eno by Schmidt

    The actual card set....oooh....ahhhh

    Sample Card Sayings

    Abandon normal instruments

    Accept advice

    Ask people to work against their better judgement

    Change nothing and continue with immaculate consistency

    Define an area as 'safe' and use it as an anchor

    Destroy -nothing -the most important thing

    Disconnect from desire

    Discover the recipes you are using and abandon them

    Distorting time

    Do nothing for as long as possible

    Don't be afraid of things because they're easy to do

    Emphasise differences

    Look closely at the most embarrassing details and amplify them

    Make an exhaustive list of everything you might do and do the last thing on the list

    What are you really thinking about just now? Incorporate


    Additional Information

    The Oblique Strategies are a deck of cards. Up until 1996, they were quite easy to describe. They measured about 2-3/4" x 3-3/4". They came in a small black box which said "OBLIQUE STRATEGIES" on one of the top's long sides and "BRIAN ENO/PETER SCHMIDT" on the other side. The cards were solid black on one side, and had the aphorisms printed in a 10-point sans serif face on the other.

    That was then, and this is now. There is now another set of the Oblique Strategies in existence, and it looks nothing like this; perhaps the best way to think of the differences between the earlier versions and the fourth edition deck is by analogy. Where the earlier versions were a quiet, well-dressed neighbor who, once you got used to her/him, turned out to be a funny, intriguing, and frighteningly prescient friend, the 1996 version is the equivalent of going to the other apartment on your floor to ask directions to someplace and discovering a large, noisy party full of tipsy graduate students attempting some kind of fashionable dance en masse who pause only to give you advice in a half-dozen languages.

    But I digress. Perhaps it's best to attempt a description of their intention and function.

    The deck itself had its origins in the discovery by Brian Eno that both he and his friend Peter Schmidt (a British painter whose works grace the cover of "Evening Star" and whose watercolours decorated the back LP cover of Eno's "Before and After Science" and also appeared as full-size prints in a small number of the original releases) tended to keep a set of basic working principles which guided them through the kinds of moments of pressure - either working through a heavy painting session or watching the clock tick while you're running up a big buck studio bill. Both Schmidt and Eno realized that the pressures of time tended to steer them away from the ways of thinking they found most productive when the pressure was off. The Strategies were, then, a way to remind themselves of those habits of thinking - to jog the mind.

    It is not clear from any sources I've run across whether the cards were explicitly intended to be oracular at the outset - that is, whether or not Peter Schmidt and Eno necessarily saw them exclusively as a "single instruction/single response" kind of "game". The introductory cards included in all three versions of the first versions of the Oblique Strategies suggest otherwise. It seems clear, also, that the deck was not conceived of as a set of "fixed" instructions, but rather a group of ideas to be added to or modified over time; each of the three decks included 4 or 5 blank cards, intended to be filled and used as needed.

    For even more information, including interviews with Eno about the cards, and ways to purchase signed copies of the cards, click here.

    Categories: Music, art, Advice