Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The death of Ted Kennedy (ironically enough not from a car accident) brings to mind one of the best punk bands with one of the best names ever. That's right: the Dead Kennedys. Nothing says disrespect better than a name that matches death with America's fucked up royalty.
The Dead Kennedys has had its share of misfortune. Lawsuits, in-fighting, commercialism, a song being tied to a near rape scene in a movie and so on. It hasn't been pretty, and it's actually quite a shame that a band that influenced my teen years immensely has been reduced to the waste that is so many other bands. Through it all, though, I supported Jello Biafra, though I haven't always agreed with him.
As I write this, tributes to Teddy boy are playing on television, all glossing over the infamous drunk driving incident that cost a life. I think if the Dead Kennedys were still around in anything that resembled its original formation the guys would be having a field day with this. Matt Lauer, always an insightful pundit (he notes sarcastically) just said that many people have compared (so Lauer can't be accused of comparing) Ted Kennedy's life to a Greek tragedy. Interesting, and more fodder for the fire.
I almost grabbed some Dead Kennedys to take to work. Instead I went with Total Fucking Destruction. It seems more appropriate, as the DK dream is no more. Forever inspired, though, no matter how much the legal battles have disappointed me.
Thanks, Ted. You brought back some awesome memories.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I am one of 33 people in the world who thinks the Beatles is one of the most overrated bands to ever assault our ears. I hate it more than Led Zeppelin. Hell, the Brits are just as overhyped as Citizen Kane, a movie that far too many critics claim to be the best film of all time just because they don't want to seem out of the loop.
A Beatle's fan once told me she liked the songs because they were beautiful in their simplicity. I will agree they are simple. They are also boring, pedestrian, and lack any kind of real emotion. The Monkees actually made happier songs and had a far better singer, too.
The fact is: The Beatles produced boring music. It was the right band at the right time, and like herpes it stuck around. Sweet death only solidified its standing in music history. One has to think, though, that Lennon, had he not been shot, would probably be hosting some kind of reality show these days. Perhaps putting together the new Beatles.
It's all a bunch of shit pushed forth by lazy music journalists onto a lazy public. And most of them bought it. What's that about suckers being born? It is actually nothing more than a boy band that made it really big without the dancing. And, yes, the members took part in the drug years and the music showed for it. Yawn. Fucking hippie shit there, too.
If there's any proof that this band is evil, one only has to remember that because of it we got Wings, which has .... interesting ... songs to say the least. I like them for part of it, but since each song that's a hit is like four songs in one, it's tough to like the entire thing.
Another artist who is fairly overrated (but not nearly as much as the Beatles) is Bruce Springsteen. That said, Springsteen's "Born to Run" has more more emotion and sincerity in it than any ten of the Beatles' songs combined. (Ironically, it also has a song structure similar to some of Wings' hits.) When you put that song next to the Beatles, the Beatles cease to exist, which brings up another point.
If the Beatles were to come out today, the band would not be nearly as popular as it was. In fact, I believe it would come and go without much notice until VH1 did an "I Love the ..." special. One hit. Maybe two. The world would stop caring.
Overrated. Overhyped. Over played. Over.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Press release for your consideration (Diana is a great guy who got a bum rap):
FINAL DAYS of MIKE DIANA ART RAFFLE & CLOSING PARTY
AUGUST 8th @ Passout Records - Brooklyn
Live Music, Original Art, Paintings, T-Shirts, Video & Puppet Show
contact: Jefe aka Johnny Chiba: ph: 917-250-7192 - e: firstname.lastname@example.org - AIM: testicle88
WHO: MIKE DIANA - first artist convicted of obscenity in Florida
WHEN: Saturday, August 8th, 7-10PM
WHERE: PASSOUT RECORD SHOP: 131 Grand Street (bet Bedford/Berry)
Williamsburg Brooklyn 718.384.7273
OPENING BANDS START AT 5PM:
Wombat In Combat
ENTER THE MIKE DIANA SUPERPHAT RAFFLE - Only $5.00
Help Mike pay off his Florida fines
Anyone who enters raffle gets a small exclusive b/w print signed by Mike, so everyone wins!
Enter as many times as you like, via pay pal online, by mail or at the Closing Party.
Two winners (1 online, 1 at closing party) will receive:
The Worst of
Ghost Girl print
Note: as pay pal does not allow raffles, anyone who purchases this signed, exclusive b/w print
(for $5), or anything from mikedianacomix.com now thru August 8 will be entered into raffle... wink!
Send $5 via pay pal (use "email@example.com")
or send well-hidden fiver, check or money order (attn: "Mike Diana")
c/o TEST PRESS, PO Box 1582, Cooper Station, NY NY 10276
Important: include name, email, address and "MIKE DIANA PRINT"
Winners will be chosen August 8th
Closing Party Flyer
jefe @ testpress.net
In 1994, underground cartoonist Mike Diana was thrown in jail for 4 days without bail on obscenity charges, for publishing, advertising, and selling his zine BOILED ANGEL. Mike was on probation for 3 years, terms included fines of $3000, no contact with minors, 1280 hours of community service, maintain full time employment, and at his expense, see a psychiatrist and take journalism courses at his own expense; AND no drawing for his own personal use... his home was subject to unannounced searches by local police to make sure he was complying. On June 4, 1996, a ruling issued by Largo, Florida, Circuit Judge Douglas Baird declared Mike Diana's zines, Boiled Angel #7 and #ATE as obscene. The judge emphasized that he personally found Diana's comics "patently offensive." and stated, "The evident goal of the appellant's publication is to portray shocking and graphic pictures of sexual conduct so it will be noticed. If the message is about victimization and that horrible things are happening in our society, as the appellant alleges, the appellant SHOULD HAVE created a vehicle to send his message that was not obscene." Mike Diana was served with another 2 years of probation, including $2000 in fines, and the same probationary terms.
15 years after his initial Florida arrest on pornography charges for mailing his zine Boiled Angel to an undercover agent,
Mike Diana is still subject to harassment from the law for not paying off thousands of dollars in fines from his 1994 conviction;
In April 2009, Mike was detained flying back from Sweden's Comic Art School, Swedish airport authorities called Homeland
Security in Florida to ask if they wanted to come arrest him. Two weeks later, returning from Bolivia's Vinetas Con Altura
(Bullets With Height) Art show, Mike was forced to wait a full week to reroute his flights to NOT go through Florida.