The Cultural Gutter

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"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

“Electric Lady (Kiss) Land: Blade Runner and R&B”

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At Popshifter, Paul Casey looks at Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,  Janelle Monáe’s The Electric Lady and The Weeknd’s Kiss Land. “Where The Electric Lady is uplifting and empowering, the story of a righteous dissident fighting for every wronged being in existence, Kiss Land is from the other side. […]

Mickey, Bugs, Daffy, Donald, Dot and Franz

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Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 in C Sharp Minor” in cartoons from black and white Mickey Mouse cartoons to Animaniacs. (Thanks, Mike!)

RIP, Julie Harris

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Actress Julie Harris has died. The Los Angeles Times remembers her.  The Hollywood Reporter has an obituary. She appeared in countless film, television and stage roles. Here she is as Eleanor in The Haunting (1963) and as Betty in Harper (1966).

Prosthetic Instruments

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Dancers create music with prosthetic instruments.

“If it wasn’t them, they’d be playing their song”

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Stephen Colbert talks about Daft Punk, among other things, on the Paul Mercurio Show: “Well, I’m beginning to see why they don’t do TV.”

RIP, Karen Black

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Actress Karen Black has died. She’s best known to genre fans for her work in Trilogy Of Terror, but she also starred in Burnt Offerings, Airport 1975,  Nashville, and Five Easy Pieces. The Vault of Horror remembers Black. The LA Times and New York Times have obituaries. And here is an interview with Black, conducted by […]

Plus-Sized Divas and Beauty Queens

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The Projection Booth has been busy, with a bunch of new podcasts up, including episodes dedicated to a documentary on Divine and “There She is,” a documentary about plus-sized beauty queens. Listen to them!  

“Kenneth Anger: How I Made Lucifer Rising

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Kenneth Anger talks about making Lucifer Rising (1966): “I used a bit of deception to film it in Egypt. I said I was doing a documentary on ancient Egyptian beliefs and needed to film in the actual settings: in front of the Sphinx, at Karnak, along the Nile where you see beautiful ruined temples. The […]

Giant Mr. Darcy, All-Out Pride Attack!

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Please view these pictures of Giant Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice rising out of the Serpentine in Hyde Park while listening to this orchestral medley from the Godzilla soundtrack.

RIP, Esther Williams

Actress, singer and swimming champion, Esther Williams has died. Williams starred in elaborate mid-Twentieth Century MGM musicals with water set-pieces. The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter have obituaries. Here’s Williams’ segment in That’s Entertainment! (1974).

Teddy Girls

A gallery and some information about the British Teddy Girls of the 1950s. (Thanks, Keith!)

“15 Minutes with Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick”

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Less Lee Moore interviews Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick about The Venture Bros. “We started discussing how they work and what drives them and eventually got into the important stuff: Kajagoogoo concerts, whether or not Trent Reznor is a poseur, and Gary Numan.”

Black Women in Heavy Metal

The Black Girl Nerds Podcast discusses Black girls and women in the Heavy Metal industry with author and journalist Laina Dawes and Ursula “She-Wolf” Parson from Hear Evil News.

“Space Oddity”

Commander Chris Hadfield performs David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in space.

Collaborators

Paul Williams, Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder talk about their careers, music and working with Daft Punk. (via Daily Grindhouse)

Greil Marcus SVA Commencement Speech

At the School of Visual Art, Greil Marcus delivers a commencement speech discussing “high art” vs. “low art,” art, and influence. (Thanks, Andrew!)

Chromatophores + “Insane In The Membrane”

Scientists hooked a squid up to an iPod. This is what happened.

On The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

“Of course I have a copy of The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes on video, but I don’t watch it very often. I even have, on tape now, the audio and video versions of those missing scenes. But it comforts me to know that they are still incomplete, and that there remain other scenes from […]

RIP, Deanna Durbin

Actress and singer Deanna Durbin has died. The Los Angeles Times and The Guardian have obituaries. Audie Cornish and Melissa Block remember Durbin on NPR.  Here Deanna Durbin sings, “Good-Bye” in Because Of  Him (1946)

Interview with Kim Gordon

“What the breach of generations shows is that there’s more than one way to be feminist.” Lizzie Goodman interviews musician and artist, Kim Gordon.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Tom Burtonwood has created Folium, a book of three-dimensional printing of bas relief, for the Art Institute of Chicago from its collection. (Via Boing Boing)

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    We have been bereft since GWAR lost Oderus Ungerus. But lift up your heads and rejoice, fans of GWAR, there is a new member. She is Vulvatron! (via @saladinahmed)

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    Throne of the Crescent Moon author Saladin Ahmed has posted “a micro-mini Crescent Moon Kingdoms world guide that had previously only been available as part of a UK-exclusive ebook” for people to use in their roleplaying games. But even if you aren’t a gamemaster, it’s pretty sweet.

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    At We Are Respectable Negroes, Chauncey Devega interviews friend of the Gutter Mark D. White about the virtues of Captain America. “In this, the ninth episode, of the second season of WARN’s podcast series, we talk about what comic books and superheroes can tell us about philosophy and politics, work through what makes someone ‘heroic,’ the ways that the general public often misunderstands and misreads the Captain America character, as well as how American exceptionalism, race, and identity relate to superhero and other types of comic books and graphic novels.”

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    Alexander Chee writes about difficulty some have in evaluating comics or even in taking them seriously. “As a frequent juror on prizes, colonies and fellowships, I am, it could be said, so tired of this, that in fact, I will fight you for Roz Chast’s right to be on this list. I will fight you for the right for Bechdel to get that MacArthur. In a ring, covered in grease, MMA style. That is how sick of it I am.”

    And Dylan Meconis has some suggestions on how to improve writing about comics. “This leaves all the critics who are just beginning their journey into comics reading, or who have yet to be entirely won over to the medium but want to keep an open mind (perhaps due to peer pressure: I remember a literati cocktail party where somebody near me anxiously muttered ‘I guess we’re all supposed to read graphic novels now.’) These brave souls are willing to give it a try, but they tend to make a lot of mistakes when they first start out.” (Thanks, Gareth!)

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    At Black Girl Nerds, Jamie Broadnax writes a powerful piece about racism, cosplaying, police violence and the homicide of Darrien Hunt. “The first thing we need to do is NOT let this story scare us nor intimidate us into believing that we should be fearful of cosplaying.  We should still encourage others who may not yet have participated in cosplay to know that there are several communities for people of color to have safe spaces where they can be embrace and be their nerdy selves. If there is little to no news about this incident on other mainstream geek sites that feature cosplayers, then framing this around race is pertinent and they should be called out on their silence.  Even IF this is not an incident where Darrien Hunt was actively cosplaying, the tone has already been set and anyone who is a part of the cosplay community should address this matter.  Many Black cosplayers are concerned about this, and still wonder if they would be viewed as ‘suspicious’ walking down the street.”

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