Penelope Spheeris’ legendary The Decline of Western Civilization trilogy finally saw home video release this week — and, in case you hadn’t noticed, everyone at Flavorwire is pretty excited about that. So, to celebrate their reemergence, we’ve rounded up 25 essential punk movies, from arthouse oddities to awesomely cheesy exploitation flicks to groundbreaking nonfiction… Read More
Sex Pistols bass player Sid Vicious (aka John Simon Ritchie) — who was given his famous moniker by bandmate John Lydon after Lydon’s pet hamster Sid bit Ritchie’s finger — would have been 58 today. Before he became a music icon, his friends knew Sid as a David Bowie fan. In the book England’s Dreaming, Lydon recalled:
He’d do silly things to get his hair to stick up, because it never occurred to him to use hairspray. He’d like upside down with his head in an oven. Sid was such a poser, a clothes hound of the worst kind. Anything 19 told you to wear, he’d have to have it.
Clothes played a greater part in Sid’s life when he turned 17 and started hanging out at a shop in London that catapulted his image as a punk. Here are other hangouts and clubs where famous musicians found their start — the venues that helped plant the seeds of stardom.
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There’s nothing cool about lung cancer, but just try telling that to the lizard brains of those of us who grew up worshiping the chimney-like rock icons of the ’60s through the ’90s — and leave it to a Parisian to remind us of smoking’s illicit appeal. In a series called Smoke Signals, French artist Léo Dorfner takes a novel approach to juxtaposing music and cigarettes, painting iconic album covers — Daft Punk, David Bowie, Sex Pistols — on the insides of empty Gitanes packs. Click through to view some highlights from the series, which we spotted via Junkculture… and if you’re feeling tempted to light up, just throw the two words emblazoned on the front of each pack into Google Translate.
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Conspiracy theories: they’re as fascinating as they are maddening. For every ridiculous idea that the stoner in your life insists on telling you about every time you see him/her, there’s another theory that sounds like it could just be true. Here at Flavorwire this week, we’re investigating conspiracy theories in pop culture: yes, it’s Conspiracy Theory Week! Don’t tell the Illuminati.
We’re kicking off Conspiracy Theory week with a brief survey of a corner of the music world that’s always been inhabited by the sort of bold, outlandish personalities about which people just love to speculate: punk rock! Did the government really have it in for the Dead Kennedys? Did Sid kill Nancy? And were Japanese hardcore lunatics GISM really yakuzas? Read on to find out.
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On this day in 1957, two Liverpool teenagers met for the first time and would change the course of music history. John Lennon and Paul McCartney shared a passion for performing. Lennon’s youthful swagger and McCartney’s technical knowledge sparked a mutual respect and healthy competition that would lead them to join forces. Read the full story past the break, where we share the fascinating tales of other famous bandmates’ first meetings.
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Summer officially arrives this week, bringing with it afternoons in the park and rooftop parties and beaches. The thing is, though, every summer needs a soundtrack, and while every year there seems to be a rush to anoint a certain tune The Song of the Summer™, Flavorwire decided to go one better and choose a quintessential summer album for every one of the past 50 years, as something of a sequel to last month’s list of the 50 albums you need to own, 1963-2013. Click through and get… Read More
As our friends at Open Culture recently pointed out, the heyday of the public service announcement has passed. The Internet is our new gateway for learning about social issues — once you sort through all the false information, of course. When we saw a cheeky anti-smoking PSA from John Waters, we got a hankering for more vintage awareness videos with a bizarre twist. Go henceforth to see what the Pope of Trash had to say about cigarettes, and enjoy other PSAs that mesmerize with their well-intentioned weirdness.
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We’re not generally given to bouts of nostalgia here, but when Dangerous Minds unearthed a video yesterday of Philly punk icons The Dead Milkmen making an unlikely appearance on Club MTV, it got us thinking about the days when music TV used to be live and thus all sorts of whacked-out things could happen. Those days are largely gone, sadly, outside of various late-night shows — the general decline of live TV, along with a series of high-profile controversies, means that networks like to have a whole lot more control over what goes to air today. Still, we’ll always have the memories, and in celebration of the ongoing experiment in riding by the seat of one’s pants that music TV used to be, here are ten of our favorite moments in gloriously shambolic televisual anarchy. As ever, let us know if you have any to add.
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1. The shortlist for the 2012 Man Booker Prize has been named, with Hilary Mantel’s critical darling Bring up the Bodies and Jeet Thayil’s awesome debut Narcopolis both making the cut. The winner will be announced at a dinner on October 16th. [via Largehearted Boy]
1. Are you confused by the new poster for Mad Men that features Don Draper sandwiched in between a pair of mannequins? “This is a dreamlike image,” Matt Weiner explained to The New York Times. “[It’s] a nonverbal representation of where my head is at and where the show will be … By the end… Read More