Remembering Kim Fowley: Genius, Asshole, and His Own Worst Enemy

By Evelyn McDonnell on from Flavorwire

Sticky sentimentality is the last thing that Kim Fowley — lord of garbage, king of noise, thorn in the side of Laurel Canyon smarm, slinger of shlock nuggetry, cranky contrarian who I find myself grieving terribly — would want upon the occasion of his death. So let’s be clear: the producer, songwriter, manager, and performer whose six-decade musical career came to an end yesterday was not a nice man.

Kim could be brilliant, charming, entertaining, hilarious, generous, tender, seductive, childlike, and, always, gregarious. But he was never anything so quotidianly innocuous as “nice.” He cut a furious, flamboyant swathe through a Hollywood full of peacock pissants, and he could be absolutely and cruelly cutting in his vulgar verbiage. He helped bring together one of the greatest of (all-girl) rock ’n’ roll bands, The Runaways, and he also tried to bring them down when they rebelled against him.

He was his own worst enemy: I completely believe his oft-repeated rap that he was a genius, but his constant touting of his own altitudinous IQ was also one of the many ways in which he alienated Hollywood movers and shakers. He wanted to be a mover and shaker himself, and ultimately — having worked with everyone from the Rivingtons to Frank Zappa to the Hollywood Stars to Helen Reddy to Alice Cooper to Ariel Pink — he was a mover and shaker, but often in spite of himself. He had an ear and an eye for talent, and a knack for fucking things up. Nowadays he would probably get diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.

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Iconic images untangled by Glen E. Friedman

from cuepoint

Glen E. Freidman is a cultural ambassador, a man who helped break down boundaries while documenting the worlds of skateboarding, punk rock and hip-hop with equal amounts passion and skill.

Glen’s photographs are vital, aggressive, emotional and full of life. There is a cathartic release in much of what he does and what he has documented. We all know his attachment to the early Dogtown years, his capturing images of early punk rock and later “hardcore” (a term Glen dislikes), and his iconic work in the early Def Jam days, before rap music was co-opted. Glen has always been there—arriving before the masses and leaving when the cornballs have made these scenes and the documentation of them redundant.


“As much as you hate to admit it, Ted Nugent Double Live Gonzo! was the major shit for me, I can’t front. It was one of my favorite albums of all time. Aerosmith, Zeppelin, Hendrix. I wasn’t cool enough to know about the MC5 or The Stooges yet. Nugent was the pinnacle for me.”

“Fugazi might have been the greatest band ever. They brought it for 15 years. Every single record was better than the one before it. Everything they did was punk to the extreme. They were what punk really is, through all of it. They were punk to the extreme in a responsible way, not in an arrogant way. That’s what punk really is.” Glen Friedman

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DA DEVILS PLAYGROUND: hardcore underground rap punx & death metal

by Alex Severino

Violent thoughts and satanic ambitions; branding skin with marks of malevolence. Sounds of the scream replace the composed voice. Staccato syllables conjure visions of death, depression, and deceit. Sexualized scenes of lyrical synapsis; tales of talismanic possessions utilized as weapons to destroy the accuser’s adversary. Censorship of words discarded; a stream of consciousness released with audacious pursuits at influence. Powerful bass thundering war-cry-esque performances. Broken bodies covered in tattoo, and against the status quo stylings of hair more closely related than the clothes.

The music has become journalism. The anthems of the audience. An audience of majority still based in their youth. There is something surreal about a young one spilling out so much creativity within such a little compacted space in time. And then for them to have the awareness that is has just begun. They may very well be young bluesmen in the making. Maybe even Rasta man in the waking. Time will tell; a true artist is forever changing. Continue reading

The Blues Ain’t Dead

By: Rob Azevedo

The sound coming from inside The Woodpecker Lounge was a mixture of brilliance and raw nerve.  Last Breath’s legendary blues man, Dick Zaino, was setting off rockets with his red Stratocaster, gassing through songs about guilt and suffering, belting out one after another, looking lean and tanned, his hair slicked sweet, eyes hooded, smoke lines on his face.

Beyond the stage the drinking crowd listened closely to Zaino’s golden notes. Some people were huddled over tiny glasses of gin.  Others were smoking packs of grits and drinking vodka, or just dreaming, eyes shut with strange images of redemption and peace scrambling for daylight within their shackled brains.  One sponge was chin-to-chest.  A cougar in red high heels was showing off her pussy to a throng of short order cooks near a utility closet.  Upstream near the latrines a dicey kid of fifteen was giving directions, holding his pecker. Continue reading