Rarely do my worlds collide with such hilarity as in this clip from grindcore band Dying Fetus. To see the Blue's Clues "face" and other images from popular children's TV used in this fashion brings me great joy. (Everyone knows that Death Metal vocals started with the Cookie Monster, anyway.) Go on, play this video for your kids—with the given indecipherability of the lyrics, I'm sure no one's in danger, despite the title. Here's more information about the band and the album, plus guitar tabs for the song. [Dying Fetus - Kill Your Mother Rape Your Dog mpg]
Since there seems to be a Fall renaissance going on, it's timely to view these clips of the band in their salad days. First, one of the earliest lineups performing "Psychomafia" and "Industrial Estate" (plus some interview footage), taken from the What's On? program in 1978. Note the presence of original keyboardist (and Mark E. girlfriend) Una Baines. The next clip is a raucous live performance of the song "Smile" from 1983, when the band was featured on the BBC's The Tube. BBC Radio icon John Peel appears briefly in the intro; Peel waived his hosting fee, with the agreement that The Fall could perform on the show. All this should make you ripe and ready for The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith, an outstanding 2005 BBC4 documentary that is so good, the lack of a subsequent DVD release would be criminal. (RSM contributed) [Fall clip 1] [Fall clip 2]
How cool were The Stranglers? Look at Hugh Cornwell—you wish you were half as cool as he is in this Top of The Pops clip, where the band apes to their version of Burt Bachrach's "Walk On By." Not the greatest lip syncher, but still way cool. Start with a base stock of Roxy Music, add some Ray Manzarek keyboards, fold in four creative, decadent minds and stir, with lots of grit and sweat from the pub floor and voila! — one of my all-time favorite bands. Why are The Stranglers not as heralded as some of their contemporaries from the UK punk explosion? Was it Dave Greenfield's refusal to leave the prog era behind and cut his hair? Perhaps they were too dark, too literary or too sexy for their own good. The Stranglers still perform and record today, albeit without Hugh, who's busy with his solo projects, including two books and a touring/recording band. [The Stranglers - Walk On By mpg]
When, oh when will the Target Video catalog be made available on DVD? Throughout the 1980s, San Francisco-based Target Video filmed and distributed live and studio performances on VHS by dozens of the greatest punk and so-called new wave bands of the time. Though The Cramps' Live at Napa State Mental Hospital, The Screamers live, and The Stranglers live in San Francisco have all come out on DVD recently, most of the Target tapes remain out of print, triumphant finds for the diligent shopper of used VHS. Here's a Target clip of Black Flag, shortly after Henry Rollins came aboard as vocalist, performing the Greg Ginn classic "Thirsty and Miserable." Also note the presence of mechanistic drummer Robo, who would later play with The Misfits.
[Black Flag - Thirsty and Miserable mpg]
Lastly, here's an avi clip of the short experimental film Artype, made in 1966 by Fluxus group founder George Maciunas. Wild, hypnotic viewing, to be sure (DivX video codec may be required.) Here also is a great site on the Fluxus movement and its artists. [George Maciunas - Artype avi]