Sunday, 31 October 2010
Proud as punch am I to announce that No No Zero are playing the closing night of Ryan Halpenny's week-long gala gallery art retrospective, aka. Poster Show V. This year's festivities are being held at Function 13 (156 Augusta Avenue, in the heart of Kensington Market), and run from December 4 - 10.
Opening night features The Weirdies, Catl, and the 159 Manning Sacred Harp Choir; closing night includes your hosts No No Zero as well as Induced Labour, Early Abstractions, and Thee Soupcans. A fine, fine pair of shows from Mr. Fort Polio, and yes, another opportunity to post one of his very-pleasing-to-the-eyeballs posters (albeit far too small here).
Show originally advertised as being on Saturday, Dec 11
but is actually Friday, Dec 10
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Speaking of folks who died last week, Bob Guccione (probably my favourite pornographer of all time, whose effect on my own budding tastes would be well nigh impossible to overstate) finally succumbed to cancer last Wednesday after years of ill health and poor fortune.
I regret I can't really do the man any kind of justice here in a blog tribute: there's simply too much to say about Guccione, too much ground to cover - his roots as a painter, inauspicious beginnings running a chain of laundromats (cleaning other people's dirty sheets, ha ha), his global adventures and increasing sophistication... Penthouse magazine's initial delivery scandal and subsequent sales phenomenon, its introduction of pubic hair to magazine viewers, the combination of "sex, politics, and protest" - as their byline put it - frequently running expose stories on government corruption and the like.
"We followed the philosophy of voyeurism," Guccione told The Independent newspaper in London in 2004. He added that he attained a stylized eroticism in his photography by posing his models looking away from the camera. "To see her as if she doesn't know she's being seen," he said. "That was the sexy part. That was the part that none of our competition understood."
Penthouse had the best photography of naked women available, and that was probably its chief virtue, plain and simple. Guccione himself was often behind the camera, devoting painterly aesthetics (and what appeared to be large amounts of gauze) toward creating boudoir fantasies that were their own little soft-focus world, sometimes taking days to complete a shoot. Arty photography was a mainstay of the magazine's pictorials and, later on in the 1990s, I for one thrilled to Tony Ward's B&Ws.
But I digress. Penthouse had the best comics in the back, Penthouse Forum (worthy of a post in and of itself), Xaviera Hollander writing an advice column, genuinely interesting articles and insightful interviews with big name personalities and thinkers, a sense that sexuality was something worthy of exploring and considering, a willingness to feature kinks and unusual behaviour, even some good fiction occasionally.
Of course, in addition to publishing Penthouse, Guccione gave the world Omni, Viva, Newlook, Longevity, and, in conjunction with his son Bob Jr., Spin. Also, the singular cinematic sex gross-out saga of all time, Caligula. Celebrity photo shoots we all know and love. The Penthouse Pets. Then too a failed casino and nuclear power plant. By the end of his life, Guccione had sadly fallen out with much of his family, and (like another NYC pornographer we've looked at here) done the whole rags to riches thing in reverse.
Of all the porn that was around when I was growing up, Penthouse was by far my fave, better even than the odd expensive hardcore mag one might chance across. Like a lot of people at that time, I found Playboy boring and fake, Hustler gross and ugly. By contrast, Penthouse Pets, the Forum, Call Me Madam, Wicked Wanda -- this was a world of exotic, self-assured and often dominant women, women who would gladly lead you into kinky sex adventures if only the opportunity presented itself (or so it appeared).
For all that, I say thank you, Mr. Robert Charles Joseph Edward Sabatini Guccione.
Sunday, 24 October 2010
One of my very favourite singers of the whole punk 'thing', Ari Up of The Slits died this week. I loved her in The Punk Rock Movie - mad respect to a performer with incredible style and spirit - I think of her every time I rock onstage from side to side.
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
About a week ago, "the first book tribute to Uschi Digard", shipped from Creation Books' latest sub-press Wet Angel. Entitled "The Uschi Digard File", and limited to just 100 copies, this salute to everybody's favourite Swedish sexbomb looks like a sure bet for my Christmas wish list -- but why wasn't I asked to write it?
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
The trial of Col. Russell Williams is near ubiquitous in the media this week, and with it, there has been much self-reflexive discussion of media's role in handling repellent subject matter.
John Cruickshank of the Toronto Star speaks to the matter with the CBC, and I thought his description of Williams as, "both enormously frightening and tremendously pathetic", was unusually astute -- a rare bit of insight into how media plays out its self-serving, bent-over-backwards dance of bad news.
Sunday, 17 October 2010
No No Zero will be playing a special performance at Eyesore Cinema (801 Queen St. W., above Rotate This) at 9PM this coming Saturday October 30th. It's a free show and starting early -- so come on up, get a few crazy movies, and start your Devil's Night with some psychotronic rock'n'roll!
In the meantime, enjoy this sexy poster from Mr. Ryan Halpenny...
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Anagram's entire musical catalogue - including their brand-new record, Majewski - is now available to hear in streaming format, or to download as digital files (MP3, FLAC, or Apple Lossless), at their label Dead Astronaut's website.
Majewski release shows will follow on Friday October 22nd at The Shop under Parts & Labour (1566 Queen St. W., Toronto), and Saturday November 6th at The Polish Hall (219 Olive Avenue, Oshawa); the Oshawa show will also feature a display of titular inspiration Michal Majewski's artwork.
Come celebrate this awesome new album, as well as the life and work of one of Oshawa's great talents.
Saturday, 2 October 2010
Here's the neatest website idea I've seen in a while: an interactive map of sexuality wherein four different-coloured pins (which the user applies) delineate whether a given fetish or activity has been tried and liked, tried and not liked, is something one would like to try, or something to keep in the realm of "strictly fantasy only".
The map was designed by Franklin Veaux of SymToys, an individual with a great deal of varied credits to his name, particularly in the area of polyamory and BDSM.
I must note also that a large (24x36") print version of the map is available to order (WANT). Get some darts and you've got yourself the craziest party game ever!