Friday, April 29, 2016

Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter (1970)

Musical documentary on the free concert at Altamont Speedway near San Francisco in early December 1969. The event was all but destroyed by violence that marked the end of the peace and love euphoria of the 1960s. The night began smoothly, with the supercharged Flying Burrito Brothers opening up for the Rolling Stones and performing the truck-driving classic "Six Days on the Road" and Tina Turner giving a sensually charged performance. But on this particular evening, the Stones made the fateful (and disastrous) decision to hire the Oakland chapter of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang as bodyguards and bouncers. It was a foolhardy, careless choice that turned the night into an unmitigated disaster; halfway through the Stones' act, the Angels killed one black spectator, and injured several others who were present (including Jefferson Airplane's lead singer Marty Balin). In the film, we watch Mick Jagger -- ere an ebullient, charismatic performer of bisexual charm -- reduced to standing on stage like a frightened child with his finger in his mouth in wake of the violence. Unsurprisingly, the Grateful Dead refused to perform after the violence erupted; the picture ends on a despairing note, with the Stones repeatedly watching a film of the murder. Celebrated documentarians Albert and David Maysles directed and Haskell Wexler shot the film, with heightened instinct and control; as a result, this film is considered one of the greatest rock documentaries ever made. Stones songs performed include "Brown Sugar," "Under My Thumb," and "Sympathy for the Devil."

Friday, April 15, 2016

In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution (1976)

The first music video for the band Devo, directed by Chuck Statler. Filmed in May 1976, it contains two separate songs: "Secret Agent Man" and "Jocko Homo". It won First Prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 1977, and was routinely screened before Devo live concerts. It is included as an extra on the Criterion release of Island of Lost Souls.

The film begins with an extreme close-up of a television, switching between channels while odd gibberish noises play in the background. The film title is superimposed over the television screen.

The scene fades to a shot of a factory (filmed at the Goodyear World of Rubber in Akron, Ohio). Members of Devo in its quartet stage are seen in blue workmen's suits, operating machinery, until one notices it is time to go. All the band members wear clear face masks, except for Mark Mothersbaugh, who appears in his Booji Boy mask. The members leave work and get into a car. They pull up in front of the burned out Kent bar The Water Street Saloon which was two buildings down from JB's in Kent, Ohio. The next clip shows them entering the front door of JB's, carrying instruments. A sign on the door reads "Tonight: 15-60-75", a reference to The Numbers Band, which Gerald Casale played bass for at one point. The "Secret Agent Man" performance begins, featuring Bob Mothersbaugh on guitar, Gerald Casale on bass, Jim Mothersbaugh on electric bongos, and Mark Mothersbaugh/Booji Boy on synthesizers. The performance routinely cuts away to bizarre visuals, such as two men in monkey masks spanking a woman with ping-pong paddles, or a punk playing a double-neck guitar plugged into a space heater. The segment ends with a fadeout of Mark Mothersbaugh in a John F. Kennedy mask.

The "Jocko Homo" segment begins with Booji Boy running through a parking lot off of Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls. He enters a building through the fire escape to meet with General Boy. They exchange papers, and General Boy makes a statement: "In the past this information has been suppressed, but now it can be told. Every man, woman, and mutant on this planet shall know the truth about de-evolution." Booji replies with a famous line: "Oh, dad, we're all devo!"

A series of rapid-fire cuts of the letters in "DEVO" appears (with the music of "Mechanical Man" found on Hardcore Devo: Volume One), and then we cut to Mark Mothersbaugh in a Kent State University classroom (actually the Governance Chambers), delivering a lecture. As Motherbaugh delivers the lyrics to Jocko Homo, the classroom enters a frenzy of excitement, ending in a near riot.
The film ends with a scene of Booji Boy being stabbed and his mask removed. Then the credits play in a style similarly to the title with an extremely distorted cover of "Because" by The Beatles playing. The film ends with a shot of the word "DEVO" in neon flashing off.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Rowland S Howard live Studio 22 ABC-TV + Interview (1999)

Rowland S. Howard - Guitar and Vocals,
Brian Hooper - Bass,
Mick Harvey - Drums,
Edward Clayton-Jones - Keyboard.

00:49 She Cried.
5:38 Dead Radio.
11:54 Exit Everything.
19:02 Shivers.
24:07 White Wedding.