Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Guitar Fucker: A One Man Rockin' Ear Assult

Lots of great things have come out of Sweden. Here's a small photo array of these things (because everybody loves pictures and maybe half of my visitors can't actually read):

1950 Saab 92

The Swiss Army knife
(helping people remove their own limbs to save lives since 1890!)

Swiss chocolates!

a major graphic design movement
& motherfuckin' HELVETICA (which was also pretty good little docu, by the way)

H. R. Giger

Ursula Andress
(aka Honey Diver)

Most recently, I found out about this seething, bluesy, one-man rock gem from the Land of the Alps: Guitar Fucker.

Photo courtesy of Guillaume Lederrey via Flickr

And much like the Barbegazi, there's not much information to be found out about this guy. He's signed to Little Records out of Switzerland, a tiny little indie label run by two dudes with a total of four arms. He is a one man band because he's too much of an asshole to deal with other people (being an asshole = greatest mother of invention of all time). He's played with Bob Log III, Zen Guerilla, The Bellrays, and other only semi-recognizable acts. He might have been raised by harmonica-playing wolves.

Maybe this is old hat, maybe some of you have seen him play somewhere in the states (although I doubt that's happened yet). I can only hope he makes it round my way because if there's anything I love more than an angry, socially-retarded, egocentric musical genius, it's an angry, socially-retarded, egocentric musical genius with a foreign accent.

Have a taste of the sweetness...PORN FLAKES...DON'T TOUCH MY CAR

Friday, November 6, 2009

Robert Williams Art Show in NYC

While I was standing in the rain, zombie makeup melting off my face, waiting to be in the annual NYC Village Halloween Parade, thirty blocks north at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery is where I should have been. Much like the rest of October, I found out a week too late that the always bewitching art genius Robert Williams was having a Halloween opening night party at the gallery for his latest showing of work, "IN THE SERVICE OF THE HYPOTHETICAL".

See a preview of the show at Art Nouveau Magazine online.

I found out about the show from my always in the know (somehow) manfriend, Mark who stumbled upon the show on his lunch break just the other day (I'll have to post some pictures when he uploads them off his camera). He and his coworker stopped in and, while checking out the myriad of mindfucking paintings and nine foot tall sculptures, Mark realized that Williams himself happened to be in the gallery at the moment and he got to meet the artist who was integral in bringing together my love for absurdist, surrealist art and hot rods...a major part of how I self-identify today.

And then, I wept a little. (I mean, come on - when I found out I'd missed the Robert Williams opening for a less than perfect Halloween evening in the rain coupled with the fact that I was too sick to go to the Art of Rebellion show put on by Harley Davidson a few weeks earlier, I was, to say the least, pretty devastated.)

Anyway, lucky for me (and you!) the show will be open until January. You can visit the Tony Shafrazi Gallery at 544 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001 (Hours: Tues - Sat 10-6).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gangs of New York

©Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos, New York.

I recently became engrossed in reading about the history of 50's gangs in NYC, which has turned out to be a satisfying little bit of sociological pie to bite into. One day I happened upon a website called Stone Greasers, which extensively chronicles the the history of mid-century teen gangs, specifically in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Detroit. As you might imagine, what people now associate with the word "gang" is slightly different than what these Greaser gangs had going on...but not much. If you've seen the movie the Outsiders, you pretty much get the idea.

Point is, I think I'm so enamored with the idea of these teen gangs because it's a real-life example of the apex in which several major interests of mine converge: living in New York, mid-century ephemera and history, and counterculture. I can look at a Google Map of all the greaser gangs from the Bronx and it has extra meaning to me because I know where those places are. When I read that The Phantom Lords - a Williamsburg, Brooklyn based gang - were constantly having shoot outs on Bedford Ave., it makes me giggle as I juxtapose that mental image with the one of contemporary, hipster-centric Billyburg. I like hearing stories of miscreants of days gone by. I like knowing there were and will always be those who give a giant middle finger to the status-quo, for whatever reason. It makes me giddy on the inside. It should make you giddy too, because if you're reading my website you're probably a fan of the hot rodding lifestyle, which itself is very much a part of the "low-brow", working class, rebellious cultural history of America. Gangs, cars, porn, rock...all juicy slices of that same big aforementioned cultural pie. Deeeeelish.

Now, I had been trying with all my might to find some images of some of these gang children of New York, using every internet searching trick on every website I could think of, but with little luck. Obviously it's not like people ran around fifty years ago with digital cameras documenting the fuck out of the minutia of their life like we do now.

**Side note: During my scouring of Flickr I found a hilarious set of photos called "My Stepmom was a Celebrity Stalker in the 50's". Quite a hoot.**

Aunt Rita @13 with Jayne Mansfield, originally uploaded by whitesquirrel.

After cursing the existance of the virtual universe for twenty minutes or so (my patience has clearly been adversely effected by the internet age), I eventually found the name of a photographer, Bruce Davidson, who actually spent a summer following around Brooklyn gang, The Jokers, and documenting a season in the life of teen rebellion when he himself was only 22 :

    From an NY Times article on Davidson: The photographs today portray a lost world of stickball and boardwalks, of Vaseline hair and rolled sleeves, Kent Filters and Karl Droge Big Squeeze Ices, basement dances and Susie the Elephant Skin Girl at Coney Island. The atmosphere was tight and intense, filled with flinty looks and an almost accidental glamour, where tattoos were more a fierce indoctrination than a calculated lifestyle choice.
Davidson's photos so eloquently capture the innocent rage of teenage years; such a specific emotion yet one that transcends time or place. I identify with them in many ways. They are just plain beautiful.

...I guess at this point I don't know what my original point was. Having been sick for basically the last month, my brain-power is at an all time low and at the risk of ruining what has so far been a pretty good attempt at an intelligent post, let me sum up what I'm trying to say: "Look at how cool these greaser hoods from the 50's were! Awesome! And these photos are so cool! And we name our car clubs and bands after them! Wowzers! They probably all came from shitty, poor immigrant families where they were emotionally and physically abused which is what makes kids band together in their misery as a tough-guy gang, but hey! They look so cool!"

Savage Skulls of the South Bronx

That's all, folks.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween

Hope yours was fantastic.

Nurse Kustom Kitten wishes you a happy Halloween