Saturday, 27 November 2010

Girly With An Axe!

Eh, more properly a hatchet, I suppose...

Back in the spring, I did a couple of picture posts featuring Sexy Women With Axes. Some of these pictures were movie posters and, if I'd had this Girly poster (and a couple of variations thereof) at that time, I'd surely have included them there.

I could hold onto the pics in some file, I suppose, for a theoretical future third installment. I think they're quite glorious enough to merit a post of their own though; not only is the topmost poster aesthetically appealing in a Salome-esque sort of way, it has a bit of an interesting backstory all its own.

From the indispensable IMDB --

The original poster art for the film was an eerie black and white family portrait of "The Family," dressed in traditional British attire (six form uniforms for Girly and Sonny, a maid's outfit for Nanny, and a World War II era dress for Mumsy). Though this iconography would have struck a chord with British viewers, it was deemed that US audiences wouldn't understand the image. For the US release, the distributor commissioned a poster of an anonymous girl standing in for Vanessa Howard, wearing a cutoff skirt and clutching a... bloody ax.

Sadly, even a sexy anonymous girl with an axe didn't do the trick, and this Freddie Francis-directed horror died a death at the box office, becoming so obscure that, until released on DVD earlier this year, it was well nigh impossible to find.

And while I mention Freddie Francis, would anyone mind if I snuck another of his horror flick posters into this post? It really is such a great one, that of his film just prior to Girly - the mostly decent Dracula Has Risen From The Grave.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Four Corners Review!

Mechanical Forest Sound is a Toronto-based blog focused on live music reviews of the, er, 'independent scene' (I know, I know) with an occasional MP3 from the gig in question. Last July's well-received Four Corners show at Steelworkers Hall is the subject of an extensive review released there today, and I'm happy to share links to the review itself as well as to a couple of tracks we played there ("Colossal Penetrations" off our forthcoming record, and "Eurosleaze" off our last album Rough Stuff).

Tracks are also available from the sets of Anagram, Ancestors, and Teenanger, and you can even hear an approximation of the finale jam with all four bands simultaneously playing The Stooges' "Ann". Mechanical Forest Sound describes the "quite excellent" sweaty, drunken chaos well, but rest assured a single MP3 hardly equates with the live quadrophonic onslaught that was the night itself.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Ingrid Pitt!

My birthday fun was shot down yesterday by the news that Hammer Horror legend Ingrid Pitt had just died. She's mentioned by name at the end of our song "Eurosleaze" ("Ingrid Pitt... that's the shit"), and there's been a rather fetching picture of her along the right hand side of the blog for a long time now, if not the entirety of its existence. In short, I was a real big fan of the lady. Her death comes as a sad and sorry surprise.

I have fond memories of seeing her in film after film as an impressionable youth, usually at the top of a staircase it seemed, half hidden by shadows, often with some obviously dark secret behind her eyes. Like so many of the actresses I have a thing for, she displayed a natural sense of humour (in her case, both onscreen and off) along with regularly displaying a naturally beautiful body. She was witty, intelligent (having written several books), and graced horror fans with a rare grace, vitality and respect.

Far greater than simply another Scream Queen, she well-earned the title Queen of the Vampires. I salute you, Ingrid Pitt - may your coffin be comfortable and undisturbed.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Starkweather Fix Got The Cramps!

I recently gave my brother a bunch of old ADAT and DAT tapes he was interested in transferring to digital - these were mostly of our old band The Starkweather Fix (I sang, Neeler Peeler played bass), and a lot of those were songs we'd recorded with Andy Owen in Oshawa back in the mid-1990s.

Andy had a lot of new gear and agreed to record the band for free in order to get some experience using it: in addition to recording our sole CD What The Swedish Butler Heard, he also recorded us playing quite a few songs we'd already released on our sole cassette This Band Has Seconds To Live, as well as enough unused material for the CD to make another album (we'd wanted WTSBH to be a double-CD but we didn't have the money to make such a beast).

Neeler Peeler has today unveiled a site of his own design called Starkweather: The Missing Tapes. On this site, he pledges, "a series of never-before-heard mixes that will be released over the coming months" (he's a busy guy so cut him some slack). The first of the released mixes is "Can't Find My Mind", a cover of The Cramps tune off their Psychedelic Jungle album (probably my fave). We had recorded the song for This Band Has Seconds To Live, but this is a few years after that. I like the bass sound on this recording, the heavy feel, and how it turned out in general.

The Starkweather Fix - Can't Find My Mind

I'd like to send this out to Dawn McLeod b/c it was always a song of ours she particularly liked. Band pic above is by Mark Laking.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Horacio Altuna!

I was just sort of stumbling around some tumblr sites the other night, looking at erotic cartoons and things of that nature, when I suddenly chanced upon a few colour drawings that really took my breath away, striking me as exceptional and with no small amount of depth (for erotic cartoons). This handful of uncredited pictures appealed greatly to my own tastes, and I figured it was worthy of sharing here for those with a similar bent.

The artist is Horacio Altuna, an Argentine who has been drawing comics professionally since 1965. He has not always done erotic work [see gallery links on right], and is perhaps most famous in his home country for El loco Chavez, a series about a detective. Altuna has lived in Spain since 1982 and has continued to publish well-regarded work into the 21st century, including a family series started in 2005 called Familia tipo.

What is it about these pictures that fascinates me so? The detail is probably what strikes a viewer first; Altuna's unusual attention to objects and backgrounds, let alone to figures, makes these scenes that much more believable. But look again - notice the surreptitious nature of the sexual activity going on, the way other people are either watching or close enough to see or hear, the dynamic of the situations, the management of space, the private and the public. There is so little skin on display, yet the filthiness is impossible to miss.

Was innuendo ever so simultaneously vulgar and pretty?

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Mid-90s Toronto Punk Tapes!

If you were living in the GTA mid-1990s and interested in the local 'punk' scene of the time, There Are Chickens... is a blog that may just give you Intense Nostalgia Attack.

Posting cassettes from Smallmouth, Skewver, Eighthrib, Mower Queen, and M.K. Ultra (aka Slowgun), there may not be that many tapes there right now but, as anyone who lived through the period will recall, there's a lot more where that came from.

And where did this blog come from? There Are Chickens... is produced by none other than Mr. Gideon Steinberg, former drummer for 90s punk legends Pecola and currently pounding the skins for The Soupcans and - big announcement here - No No Zero! Come see his debut with us when Gideon pulls double duty at Poster Show V next month.

In the meantime, let's hope he keeps posting these tapes!

Monday, 15 November 2010

New No No Zero Record Draws Ever Nearer!

Without going into too much detail, I can reveal that a major hurdle was crossed tonight in the (sometimes painfully) slow excretion that is the completion of our new record. The end is now in sight and, if I didn't think I'd curse myself in the process, I'd give an optimistic estimation of when it'll finally be finished.

Believe you me, it's a creepy island off in the distance, slowly getting bigger, growing always into greater focus. As ever, stay tuned for more.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

New Tonetta LP Cover Shocker!

I admit I've had some mixed feelings on Tonetta since reading his Artist Advocacy interview, but maybe that says more about me than he. In any case, Tony's new record - "777 Vol. II" (like Vol. I, it's on Black Tent Press) has a sleeve that I couldn't resist sharing - it would appear to be a 'dick print' featuring the cock of King Cock himself.

Perhaps worthy of note that a cover shoot call had originally gone out a couple of months ago on FB looking for someone, "over 18, female and comfortable posing topless wearing the mask of TONETTA in a professional studio setting". That sounded pretty promising, sure, but this is certainly a great deal more original. I wonder whether willing ladies came up in short supply, or were the results simply a poor substitutiary step-child to the long, hard wang of Mr. Big Rig?

This simple image encompasses many of Tonetta's best qualities: his overbearing sexuality (one might as easily say horniness), his fearlessness and/or shamelessness, his sense of humour, his need to share, so to speak, his exhibitionist proclivities. Vol. II also features some of my favourite Tonetta tunes - such as "Death Sentence", "G & B Showers", and "Dominate". Just wish I could afford one.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Another Poster Show Poster + Live Pics!

Here we see a second poster Ryan Halpenny has done for his upcoming retrospective Poster Show V, as well as a couple of photos he took prior to No No Zero's last show (at Eyesore Cinema). A loud & spooky time was had by all!