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

Max Dalton | Artist

Max Dalton is an artist based in Argentina. He made this limited edition print of guitar heroes he calls Guitar Lessons. The print features the following guitarists:

Frank Zappa, George Harrison, Slash, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Brian May, Johnny Ramone, Jack White, The Edge, Chuck Berry, Angus Young, Pete Townshend, Tony Iommi, Eddie Van Halen, David Gilmour, Ace Frehley, Ritchie Blackmore, Duane Allman, Kirk Hammett, Carlos Santana, John Frusciante, Yngwie Malmsteen, Kurt Cobain, Mike Bloomfield, Jerry Garcia, Ry Cooder, Bo Diddley, Jeff Beck, Tom Morello, Brian Setzer and Peter Green.

Max originally made 50 of these signed prints and they sold out in a couple of hours. He has now made 200 more. They sell for $40 + $11 shipping and they're going fast.


Olivier Mourgue | Furniture Maker

Below are some of the works of furniture designer & painter Olivier Mourgue. He's the dude who made the furniture in 2001: A Space Odyssey.



Thanks Jim!

Categories: Furniture, Design

John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band Live in Toronto 1969 Is Some Weird Shit


In 1969 John Lennon & Yoko Ono famously held a two week "bed in" to peacefully protest the Vietnam War. The first one took place in Amsterdam and the second was to be held in New York, but Lennon was banned from the US due to his Cannabis conviction.  They moved the bed in to the Bahamas but the heat bothered them so they moved it to again to Montreal, where it was documented by the CBC. The images below were taken by the CBC and were featured in an exhibition on the event at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art. More info on that here.



That same year John Lennon and The Plastic Ono Band played the Toronto Peace Festival. The band, which also featured Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman (who designed The Beatles Revolver album Cover) and Yes drummer Alan White, were billed with Little Richard, Bo Diddley and Jerry Lee Lewis.



A live version of the performance was recorded and released on record in 1969, while the film footage, directed by D.A. Pennebaker, was released as Sweet Toronto in 1971. Both have been reissued within the last couple years.



Many people are familiar with the band's song, "Give Peace A Chance", but I don't think most people just how weird, and good this band was. Beatles fans obviously hate it, which explains why the were almost booed off the stage. Below is a clip.



For those who do like it. I would highly suggest you pick up John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band, which was co-produced by Phil Spector and Yoko's companion record, Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band. Both covers are shown below and if you look closely you'll see that they're not identical.



Categories: Music, Hippies

Avant Garde Magazine










Avant Garde was a magazine notable for graphic and logogram design by Herb Lubalin. The magazine had 16 issues and was published from January 1968 to July 1971.

From January, 1968, through July, 1971, Ginzburg published Avant Garde, which like Eros, an earlier publishing attempt, was a handsome hardbound periodical. While it could not be termed obscene, but it was filled with creative imagery often caustically critical of American society and government, sexual themes, and (for the time) crude language. One cover featured a naked pregnant woman; another had a parody of Willard's famous patriotic painting, "The Spirit of '76", with a woman and a black man.

Avant Garde had a modest circulation but was extremely popular in certain circles, including New York’s advertising and editorial art directors. Herbert F. Lubalin (1918–1981), a post-modern design guru, was Ginzburg's collaborator on his four best-known magazines, including Avant Garde which gave birth to a well-known typeface of the same name. It was originally intended primarily for use in logos: the first version consisted solely of 26 capital letters. It was inspired by Ginzburg and his wife, designed by Lubalin, and realized by Lubalin's assistants and Tom Carnese, one of Lubalin's partners. It is characterized by geometrically perfect round strokes; short, straight lines; and an extremely large number of ligatures and negative kerning. The International Typefont Corporation(ITC) (of which Lubalin was a founder) released a full version in 1970.

An article on folk music written by United States Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas was a topic in the congressional hearings on his attempted impeachment in 1970.

Ritva Man Sweaters

I saw these Ritva man sweaters on Wary Meyers. The sweaters were designed by Ritva Ross and her husband, Mike Ross, in collaboration with artists like David Hockney, Liz Frink, Patrick Hughes, Allen Jones and others.

Allen Jones

Patrick Hughes

Liz Frink

Goats Head Soup

David Hockney


This was made for Paul McCartney's Wings Album

...More on the sweaters from Wary Meyers:

The knitwear business Ritva (1966 - ca.1980) was started by Ritva Ross, who had the idea of using crochet squares to make a dress, and her husband Mike Ross. The first designs were ordered by Annacat boutique in South Kensington. One was purchased by Lee Radziwell and appeared on the cover of Life magazine in November 1966. Having rented a flat in Chelsea which doubled as a workroom and showroom, Mike and Ritva Ross built up a network of out-workers using hand-operated frames.

The firm offered a limited number of styles but allowed customers to have garments made up individually in a range of colours and patterns. The brand was first publicized in Nova magazine and sold through stores and boutiques in London and in the U.S.A.. In 1969 Mike Ross started the Ritva Man label with sweaters inspired by baseball uniforms, and a Ritva boutique was opened at 8 Hollywood Road, Chelsea. Ritva knitwear was heavily influenced by popular culture and contemporary art and introduced innovations such as the knitted minidress. Mike Ross collaborated with David Hockney, Allen Jones, Elizabeth Frink and Patrick Hughes to produce the limited edition artists collection of sweaters. A Little Ritva label for childrenswear was also started and commissions were undertaken for the film and music industries. Mike and Ritva Ross separated in 1977 but Ritva Ross continued to operate the Ritva business abroad until ca.1980.

Michael Anthony Ross was born in 1936 in Portland, Maine, U.S.A. and was educated at Syracuse University. He settled in London in 1960 and attended the Royal College of Art painting school from 1963-1964. In 1973 he launched the Bear Creek General Store at 10 Hollywood Road to sell imported traditional American goods.

Ritva Ross (née Tera) was born in Helsinki in 1941 and moved to London in 1961 where she attended the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts. Prior to starting Ritva she also worked as a fashion and showroom model."

Categories: art, Artists, Sweaters, Fashion

Best Albums of 2009

(in no order)

1. The Broadcast & The Focus Group


Broadcast & The Focus Group | Birmingham UK | Warp | Listen


2. Om


Om - God is Good | San Francicso | Drag City | Listen (An album Goblin could have made)


3. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart


The Pains of Being  Pure at Heart | Brooklyn | Slumberland | Listen


4. Telepathe


Telepathe | Brooklyn | IamSound | Listen


4. Cold Cave


Cold Cave | Philadelphia | Matador | Listen


5. Nite Jewel


Nite Jewel | Los Angeles | Self Released w/ Human Ear | Listen


6. Here We Go Magic


Here We Go Magic | Brooklyn | Secretly Canadian | Listen


7. Kill For Total Peace


Kill For Total Peace | Paris | Pan European Recordings | Listen


8. Moon Duo


Moon Duo | San Francisco | Sacred Bones | Listen


9. Animal Collective


Animal Collective | Brooklyn, Lisbon, DC | Domino | Listen


10. A Place To Bury Strangers


A Place to Bury Strangers | Brooklyn | Mute | Listen


11. Pure Ecstasy


Pure Ecstasy | Austin | | Light Lodge | Listen


12. Omar S


Omar S | Detroit | fxhe | Listen


13. Martyn


Martyn | DC | 3024 | Listen




Best Reissues


1. Space


Space | Marseille | Nang | Listen


2. Comet Gain


Comet Gain | London | Whats Your Rupture | Listen


3. Prince Lasha


Prince Lasha Ensemble | Oakland | Dusty Groove | Sorry folk no gimmes here


4. The Feelies


The Feelies | New Jersey | Bar None | Listen


5. The 39 Clocks


39 Clocks | Germany | Bureau B | Listen


6. Peter Walker


Peter Walker | Boston | Tompkins Square | Listen


8. Bill Fox


Bill Fox | Cleveland | Scat | Listen


9. Guru Guru


Guru Guru | Germany | Brain | Listen  


10. The Axemen


The Axemen | Aukland | Siltbreeze | Listen


11. The Liverpool Scene


The Liverpool Scene | Liverpool | Esoteric | Listen 


12. The East Flatbush Project


The East Flatbush Project | Brooklyn | 10/30 Uproar | Listen


13. J.T. IV


J.T. IV | Chicago | Drag City |



14. Sperm


Sperm | Finland | Destijl | No Songs or video but excellent is understatement


15. Margo Guryan


Margo Guryan | Los Angeles | Oglio | Listen



16. Das Ding


Das Ding | Dutch | Minimal Wave | Listen

Claudia La Rocco's Top 9 of 2009 on WNYC features Ann Liv Young's confrontation with Kanye West

Our favorite performance artist and RINY subject, Ann Liv Young, fades Kanye West and to his face none the less. Those who missed Ann Liv Young's performance during the Why Won't You Let Me Be Great show at PS 122 this year, apparently missed this:

* If you're unfamiliar with Ann Liv Young - you should watch our video with her before you read on.



Below sourced from La Rocco's "Top 9 of 2009"

8. Most amusing performance artist-celebrity confrontation: Getting into P.S. 122 to see Why Won't You Let Me Be Great!!!? $20. Watching Kanye West's face while he watched Ann Liv Young smear raw pork on her nether regions (after insulting his album) because that's what Love Lockdown made her feel like? Priceless. (Perhaps I'm biased here, as Ms. Young later in the shows run stuffed a makeup bottle up those same regions as, er, a tribute to my critical faculties. But still.)

Click here to read more of La Rocco's other pics for "Best 9 of 2009"

Categories: Performance

Lion Candy is Good



















Lion Candy

Categories: Photography, Fashion

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