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There’s a Depeche Mode bar in Tallinn, Estonia
09:31 am

Pop Culture

Depeche Mode

Yesterday DM contributor Martin Schneider wrote about the incredible H.R. Giger bars. And someone in the comments—who’s perhaps a world traveler—mentioned they’ve visited a Giger bar in Switzerland and a Depeche Mode-themed bar located in Tallinn, Estonia. When I first read that I immediately had to Google this magical place—that I didn’t know existed—and find out what’s all about.

The name is actually Depeche Mode Baar and it opened its doors back in 1999 by a devoted fan of the band. Apparently, it really grew in popularity in 2001 after Depeche Mode band members partied the night away at the bar after their concert in Tallinn. Since then, the bar has been highlighted on a few news features including a segment for BBC TV.

I don’t know what else to say except to quote Liz Lemon, “I want to go to there!” I mean, a Depeche Mode bar?!





Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Fashion mastication: ‘Pre-chewed’ blue jeans nibbled by lions, tigers and bears
08:03 am


blue jeans

Zoo jeans
If you can distress denim with acid, I guess using wild animals to do it isn’t too strange....

Admirers of the Kamine Zoo in Hitachi, Japan, hit upon an unusual idea for a fundraising drive: Sell jeans that have been gnawed on by lions, tigers, and bears. Generous sheets of blue material are stretched over tires and large orbs and left in enclosures where the hungry beasts use their sharp teeth and claws to penetrate the fabric—fabric that is then sewn together to create what they’re calling “Zoo Jeans.” The jeans are being sold by auction, so no price point has been set.
Zoo jeans
Mithun Romandani, a men’s buyer at Selfridges in London, isn’t too impressed with the outcome. He told The Guardian that he felt that “the rips are too sporadic” and that they “don’t look natural.” Considering that the designers undertake their work naked, can’t speak or read or write, have never been to Paris, and don’t give a shit about Anna Wintour, I think they did a pretty good job.
Zoo jeans
Below, the “Zoo Jeans Making Movie”:

via Huh.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Cringe at ‘Uncle Tom’s Bungalow,’ the Merrie Melodies ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ parody
07:50 am


Tex Avery

There’s nothing intrinsically significant about racism in a Merrie Melodies cartoon. “Uncle Tom’s Bungalow” (1937) is actually one of the “Censored Eleven”—a group of cartoons so racist, they were banned 1968 by United Artists, who owned the Looney Tunes film library at the time. What makes “Uncle Tom’s Bungalow” exceptional is its parody of much-beloved piece of abolitionist literature. Uncle Tom’s Cabin wasn’t really particularly radical—rather than a dignified depiction of black humanity, it attempted to appeal to white benevolent paternalism by portraying black people as child-like—but still it was pretty damn revered to become the butt of a Tex Avery lampoon.

Regardless of racism, the cartoon is kind of weak, and I say that as a Looney Tunes fan. In 1947 Avery would create “Uncle Tom’s Cabaña, which wasn’t actually a parody of the book so much as an attempt at a retelling. It’s not any less racist than its predecessor—it makes similar (though way less relentless) use of racist caricature, and the punchline is that Uncle Tom is a liar—but it’s a far superior cartoon, both in animation and writing.

In"Uncle Tom’s Bungalow,” the gags are a little rote (even for Merrie Melodies), and the jokes aren’t particularly clever. For example, there’s an anachronistic “bad guy gets electrocuted” sequence that was clearly just an excuse to use a cool animation effect. At one point the escaped slave Eliza is described as “the dark horse in this race”—geddit?!? In its stronger moments, the cartoon appears to be taking aim at the schmaltz of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The saccharin “white angel” character of Little Eva is depicted as cloying cute, and if you’ve ever read the book, you might remember rolling your eyes at her saintliness.

Perhaps aiming for a big finish,  “Uncle Tom’s Bungalow” reaches its nadir at the finale, where we see Uncle Tom pull up in a Rolls Royce—he bought his freedom playing craps. Watch if you don’t mind cringing—this cartoon serves up some vintage racism, folks!

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Medieval Times: Attack of the giant killer rabbits!
07:17 am



So, you thought rabbits were cute, cuddly bundles of fun? Well, don’t be fooled, for underneath their furry exterior is a ruthless psychopath just twitching to wreak bloody vengeance with swords and axes. As academics will tell you, those who fail to learn from history are cursed to repeat it. Just look at these panels from medieval manuscripts which clearly prove giant killer rabbits did once roam the Earth battling humans for its control—and you thought Monty Python and the Holy Grail‘s “killer bunny” was a joke?

Yes, we were warned by these medieval writers, and warned again by The Night of the Lepus—which as we now know, was not just a bad trashy B-movie horror but a guide to saving the world from giant killer bunny rabbits!
Rabbits lay in wait for the human to kill their dreaded enemy the dragon, before killing the brave knight.
The rabbits prepared for battle.
They were led by the evil killer Thumper.
The giant killer rabbits showed the humans no mercy.

More Medieval killer bunnies after the hop….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Photo series of Americans lying in seven days worth of their own garbage
06:06 am


Gregg Segal

7 Days of Garbage could have come off way preachier if the subjects weren’t photographed portrait-style—some of these folks are absolutely working the camera! Households and individuals were shot among a week’s worth of their own garbage, and while the results aren’t really a shock, the fakey-nature sets really drive home the reality that human beings don’t live “outside” of the environment—the trash has to actually go somewhere. As photographer Gregg Segal puts it, “We’ve made our bed and in it we lie.”

It’s worth pointing out that not all garbage is created equal. Biodegradable orange peels aren’t really comparable to a plastic milk jug or used diapers, the latter of which I notice to be conspicuously absent from the pictures featuring a sweet-faced infant or toddler. It’s quite possible those families do cloth diapering (or didn’t feel like bringing clean diapers to the shoot to represent the used ones), but it might be even more interesting to show the sheer bulk of disposable nappies required to keep a baby happy, healthy and clean.

The tragedy in all of this is the fact that our refuse output can’t be solved by conscientious consumerism. Reducing waste will require political intervention and modifying our manufacturing practices. Until that happens, we’re just going to be… kind of filthy. New Yorkers can check out 7 Days of Garbage at The Fence, in Brooklyn.



More people and their garbage after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Undead, undead, undead: Happy birthday to Peter Murphy of Bauhaus!
05:48 am


Peter Murphy

The huge can of worms opened by the Northampton post-punk band Bauhaus when they exemplified the dark sound and cadaver-glam fashion ethos of Goth has still never been closed after 35 years.

In the mere four years from their transformative 1979 debut single “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” to their original incarnation’s final LP, Burning From the Inside, Bauhaus gave the seeds of a sonic and fashion lexicon to a romantically macabre strain of youthful angst that had never really had a name before, and out in front of that noisy doom parade was the gaunt, Bowie-ish figure of singer Peter Murphy, whose distinctively vampiric vocal affect and high-drama performance style are still imitated today. Born on July 11, 1957, Murphy celebrates his birthday today.

In the three decades since Bauhaus’ breakup, Murphy has performed in Dali’s Car with Japan bassist Mick Karn, released several solo albums, explored Middle-Eastern mysticism, and sang on a Bauhaus reunion/last hurrah LP. More recently, he ran afoul of the law in California, and was found guilty of a hit-and-run and possession of meth. But there seems to be reason to hope he’s gotten healthy again, as just last month, Nettwerk Records released Lion, his ninth solo LP, and it’s quite good.

Here he is in 1982, demonstrating what all the fuss was about:

More Murphy after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Marianne Faithfull is naked under leather in ‘Girl on a Motorcycle’
04:00 pm


Marianne Faithfull

I’ve written here before about how I used to go fanatically out of my way to collect memorabilia related to the movie Candy, in particular items emblazoned with photos of the film’s titular heroine, who was played by the comely Ewa Aulin, a one-time Miss Teen Sweden. Candy, which I didn’t actually see until much later was a “holy grail” movie for me, but when I saw it, my opinion was not favorable. (Nothing could have lived up to my high expectations to begin with, but Candy really sucked. But this isn’t about Candy, you can read what I wrote about that film here).

Another 60s goddess who I have a ridiculous amount of photos, movie posters, picture sleeve records, sheet music and even fine art photographic prints of, is Marianne Faithfull. Of all of my pantheon of 60s goddesses (Ursula Andress, Paula Prentiss, Francoise Hardy, Raquel Welch, Jane Birkin, Sandie Shaw, Joni Mitchell, P.P. Arnold, Claudine Longet) I’d have to say that Faithfull is, by quite a wide margin, my #1 favorite. Quite simply, there was no female anywhere on the planet as cool and as sexy as she was during the 1960s. She was born with one of the most classically beautiful faces of all time and she just had that look which embodied the era as no other woman could, not even Twiggy. A goddess, she was and still is.

A film titled Girl On a Motorcycle, alternatively known as Naked Under Leather, was made in 1968 to capitalize on Faithfull’s libertine reputation, acquired as the result of her allegedly having only a fur rug wrapped around her otherwise naked body during a drug bust at Keith Richard’s home the year before. In the film, Faithfull famously wears a black-leather catsuit with fur lining. Meow.

There’s not a whole lot of dialogue and even less plot in Girl On a Motorcycle. In a nutshell, Faithfull plays a young woman bored in her marriage who decides to escape, riding through the countryside on a Harley-Davidson to meet her lover (Alain Delon). The audience hears her thoughts and existential musings. There are some spicy sex scenes with Delon that earned the quite-tame-by-today’s-standards film, an X-rating. It’s a little hard to follow and doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, but who cares? That’s not why you’re watching it, is it?

What we basically have in Girl On a Motorcycle is one of the quintessential swinging 60s time capsule relics of psychedelic sexploitation. Is it a “good movie”? No. Is it a feast for the eyes. YES, indeed it is, and not just because of the gorgeous Ms. Faithfull, either. The European scenery is also brilliantly captured by director Jack Cardiff, a well-respected cinematographer who also shot classic films like The African Queen, The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus—not to mention Rambo: First Blood II—and directed The Liquidator. There’s also the excellent psychedelic jazz score from Les Reed to recommend the film.

In summation: Girl On a Motorcycle, it’s 90 minutes of great shot after shot of one of the hottest women ever born riding a motorcycle, “naked” under a leather catsuit or else having that same catsuit unzipped by a Frenchman’s teeth. With great music and some solarized psychedelic stuff thrown in for good measure (and to foil the censors). At the end she hits a truck and dies! I kid you not…

This is the trailer for Girl on a Motorcycle. Picture this going on for about 90 minutes and… you’ll get the idea: It’s streaming in HD on Netflix.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The most idiotic moment on Fox News so far today

Fox and Friends’ resident cheerful idiot Steve Doocy is obviously one of the stupidest people on television. Doocy comes off as so completely brainless that his utterly gormless co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Elisabeth Hasselhoff look good (or at least slightly better) by comparison. One would have to think that Fox News viewers with low to barely average IQs would be perceptive enough to realize that Steve Doocy is an abject buffoon. I don’t think SNL even does Fox and Friends parodies anymore, do they? Why bother?

In any case, this morning Doocy made a game attempt to get a small number of “Fox fans” (as he called them) to react negatively to the new multigender bathroom signage at Illinois State University (This is the latest “outrage” on Fox News, in case you aren’t aware of it, even though they are for single-occupancy restrooms!)

Here’s how it went down, live on Fox News as Chyron captions read: “Bathroom Boondoggle: Are New Gender Signs Just Too Confusing?” and “Gender Bender”!

Doocy: “See, they were designated as ‘family restrooms’ in the past and now, apparently, they’re going to be known as ‘all-gender’ restrooms! Does that make sense?”

Woman: “Restrooms for both genders.”

Doocy: “That’s right. Bathrooms for both genders, or transgenders!”

Man: “Transgender, that’s right.”

Unable to rile up even the slightest bit of “moral” indignation, let alone any anxiety even among these “Fox fans,” the floundering Doocy quickly threw it back to his co-tool Brian Kilmeade in the studio who then, astonishingly, offered up pretty much one of the truest things that I’ve ever heard a Fox anchor say (if only accidently):

“Well, they’re better people than us.”

Yes, indeed they are. Most people are better people than bigoted Fox News morning show hosts, I’d have to agree with that and this segment proved it. In spades!

Just yesterday, Fox News ran a story mocking the University’s attempt to accommodate everyone with equal respect.


Bonus clip, Steve Doocy before his tenure at Fox and Friends, back when he was a serious journalist…
Via Media Matters

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Jack Nicholson as Napoleon? Watch ‘Lost Kubrick: The unfinished films of Stanley Kubrick’
12:14 pm


Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick at 21, then a visionary photographer for Look magazine
Stanley Kubrick was a man of wildly variant yet intensely focused interests. He was never prolific—his obsessive devotion to perfection and research wouldn’t allow it. With that kind of artistic dedication, you’d at least hope all his projects were completed. Unfortunately for us, he had quite a few awesome-sounding films that got shelved—some of which he spent years on. This little mini-doc gives a neat little run-down of Kubrick’s unrealized visions.

Kubrick developed A.I. for years, which was later passed on to Steven Spielberg. A simple side-by-side viewing of E.T. and 2001: A Space Odyssey tells you everything you need to know about a Spielberg sci-fi versus a Kubrick sci-fi. Honestly, I don’t mind a little bit of that old schmaltzy Spielbergian glow, but I can’t help but think that Kubrick would have done something a million times more interesting with a movie on artificial intelligence. The man developed HAL 9000, for chrissake!

That’s not the only time Spielberg played a role in Kubrick’s career. Schindler’s List undercut Kubrick’s push for his own film on the Holocaust after the director had already starting casting and scouting locations. Perhaps the most ambitious of his “dreams deferred ” was a Napoleon biopic. Kubrick researched every day of Napoleon’s life and kept a meticulous log. He even had dirt from a Napoleonic battleground, so that he might match the soil color for accuracy in the film!

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face’ action figure
11:56 am


Pulp Fiction

I know, I know, it’s waaaaaaay too early to start talking about holiday stocking stuffers, but c’mon… An “Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face” action figure by GFY Toys?

Perfect if your Barbie needs a headless boyfriend!

-Each figure is fresh out of the trunk, hand painted and sealed just for you!*

-Custom blood splattered!

-Hand smashed head chunks!

-“Interactive” card art!**

-6 points of unarticulation!

-100% not resin!

-For Ages 80 and up!

-Opinions sold separately!

It’s $45 + shipping here.


via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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