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NEWS 33 years ago the Drag Queen of the 20th Century, Divine, passed away!

33 years ago the Drag Queen of the 20th Century, Divine, passed away!

07th of March 2021, 07:00

On this day, 33 years ago, Divine died at the age of 42 (19.10.1945 - 7.03.1988). Divine was an American actor, singer, and drag queen, born as Harris Glenn Milstead.

Closely associated with the independent filmmaker John Waters, Divine was a character actor, usually performing female roles in cinematic and theatrical productions and adopted a female drag persona for his music career. Milstead developed an early interest in drag while working as a women's hairdresser. By the mid-1960s he had embraced the city's countercultural scene and befriended Waters, who gave him the name "Divine" and the tagline "the most beautiful woman in the world, almost."

Divine joined Waters' acting troupe and adopted female roles for their experimental short films. Divine next starred in Waters' Pink Flamingos (1972), which became a cult classic and established Divine's fame within the American counterculture. Then Divine moved to theater, appearing in several avant-garde performances alongside San Francisco drag collective The Cockettes.

He starred in two more of Waters' films, Polyester (1981) and Hairspray (1988), the latter of which represented his breakthrough into mainstream cinema.

Meanwhile, in 1981, Divine embarked on a career in the disco industry by producing a number of Hi-NRG tracks, most of which were written by Bobby Orlando. He achieved international chart success with hits like ’Shoot Your Shot’ (1981), ‘You Think You're a Man’ (1984) and ‘Walk Like a Man’ (1985), all of which were performed in drag.

Having struggled with obesity throughout his life, he died from cardiomegaly, shortly after the release of Hairspray.

Described by People magazine as the "Drag Queen of the Century", Divine has remained a cult figure, particularly within the LGBT community, and has provided the inspiration for fictional characters, artworks and songs.

A worthwhile documentary film devoted to his life is I Am Divine (2013).

DISCOGS


NEWS 41 years ago Siouxsie and the Banshees released the single 'Happy House'!

41 years ago Siouxsie and the Banshees released the single 'Happy House'!

07th of March 2021, 07:00

Today it’s exactly 38 years (7 March 1980) since English post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees released the 7” Happy House, the first single taken from their third studio album Kaleidoscope.

Happy House and the Kaleidoscope album marked a change in musical direction for Siouxsie and the Banshees due to the arrival of two new musicians: drummer Budgie, previously of the Slits, and guitarist John McGeoch, previously of Magazine.

When asked if "Happy House" was a cynical song, Siouxsie replied: "It is sarcastic. In a way, like television, all the media, it is like adverts, the perfect family whereas it is more common that husbands beat their wives. They are mental families really but the projection is everyone smiling, blond hair, sunshine, eating butter without being fat and everyone perfect.

The single became the band's second top 20 hit, peaking at number 17 in the UK Singles Chart

Happy House (Lyrics)

This is the happy house-we're happy here in the happy house oh it's such fun
We've come to play in the happy house
And waste a day in the happy house-it never rains

We've come to scream in the happy house We're in a dream in the happy house
We're all quite sane

This is the happy house-we're happy here There's room for you if you say "I do"
But don't say no or you'll have to go
We've done no wrong with our blinkers on It's safe and calm if you sing along

This is the happy house-we're happy here in the happy house.
To forget ourselves-and pretend all's well There is no hell.

Songwriters: Siouxsie Sioux / Steven Severin


NEWS 44 years ago Kraftwerk released Trans Europe Express!

44 years ago Kraftwerk released Trans Europe Express!

05th of March 2021, 07:00

This month it is 44 years ago since Kraftwerk released Trans Europe Express (March 1977), their sixth studio album. The album was recorded during the summer of 1976 in their Kling Klang Studios and released on their own label Kling Klang Records. Two singles were taken from this album, Trans-Europe Express and Showroom Dummies. It was the first Kraftwerk album that was recorded in two different versions. One in English, one in German. The song Showroom Dummies was also released in France and Belgium as Les Mannequins, with the lyrics sung in French. The original German title was Schaufensterpuppen.

Musically Kraftwerk again moved further away from their improvised instrumental Krautrock style, fine tuning their tracks into more melodic electronic compositions.

The introduction of the analogue and customized 32-step Synthanorma Sequenzer with 16 channels was an important game-changer on this record. Kraftwerk also went to railway bridges to listen and analyze the sound of trains passing by which they altered slight to make it more danceable.

The lyrics on Trans Europe Express refer to David Bowie’s album Station To Station and to the actual event of Rafl Hütter and Florian Schneider meeting Bowie in Germany. At that time Bowie was living and recording in Berlin with Iggy Pop (The Stooges). Ralf Hütter refered several times to Iggy Pop And The Stooges as his most favourite band.

Joy Division singer Ian Curtis introduced Kraftwerk to his bandmates and insisted Trans Europe Express was played every time before the band went on stage.

Siouxsie And The Banshees covered the song The Hall Of Mirrors on their cover album Through The Looking Glass (1987). A cover version that todays only remaining original Kraftwerk member today, Ralf Hütter, hailed in glowing terms as extraordinary version.

Many still see this album as one of the most important pop albums of the last decades.

Trans Europe Express (Lyrics)

Trans Europa Express
Trans Europa Express
Trans Europa Express
Trans Europa Express

Rendez-vous auf den Champs Elysees
Verlass Paris am Morgen mit dem TEE
In Wien sitzen wir I'm Nachtcafe
Direkt Verbindung TEE
Wir laufen 'rein in Düsseldorf City
Und treffen Iggy Pop und David Bowie
Trans Europa Express

Songwriters: Emil Schult / Ralf Huetter

DISCOGS


NEWS Electro/Industrial Artist I YA TOYAH Unleashes New Single & Video, 'Out Of Order'

Electro/Industrial Artist I YA TOYAH Unleashes New Single & Video, 'Out Of Order'

04th of March 2021, 17:15

Chicago-based one-woman industrial army, I YA TOYAH has unleashed her highly-anticipated new single & video, "Out Of Order." The song comes from the upcoming EP of the same name due out in March.

"Out Of Order" - The Video:

The video is a surreal story of a gradual mental breakdown, caused by an isolation and misinformation fed by media. It was inspired by the film art of David Lynch and the pandemic.

Video Production & Scenography: Joel Lopez of Lumbra Productions.

Music: Composed and performed by I Ya Toyah.

Produced by I Ya Toyah and Nick Palazzo.

Mixed and Mastered by Nick Palazzo at Evolution Recording.

"Out Of Order" - The Song:

A pandemic song, "Out Of Order" is expressing the quarantine moods of isolation, uncertainty, chaos and inner distortion.

"I wrote it feeling these emotions and being unable to share them as we all used to- through the togetherness, a hug, and live music experience. In the future the pandemic will be over, but the need for this connection will remain- I hope this song will be a reminder of how we survived this dark time, and how fragile yet strong we all are- even when we are out of order." - Ania (I Ya Toyah)

www.facebook.com/IYaToyah


NEWS Firestarter | Celebrating The Sound Of The Prodigy And The Impact Of Keith Flint who past away 2 years ago.

Firestarter | Celebrating The Sound Of The Prodigy And The Impact Of Keith Flint who past away 2 years ago.

04th of March 2021, 07:00

Twenty-Three years after the release of ‘Firestarter’, we find ourselves mourning the loss of the demonic figure of chaos which haunted that black and white video. Keith Flint was more than just a performer, he was capable of invading our minds both through the music of The Prodigy and the attitude of destruction that Flint could project. Not since the days of Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious had a figure risen on the British music scene that stirred the same fear and controversy as Keith Flint. Music in the nineties has become split into two categories, the boy/girl band offering or the Brit-Pop sound, The Prodigy were what music was crying out for, what an audience-danger, an edge, all projected in front of infectious beats and venom soaked lyrics with the fiendish grin of Flint to spearhead it.

The Prodigy however, an outfit formed in Essex at the dawn of the nineties struck gold with all that followed ‘Firestarter’. A second lashing of apocalyptic intensity followed in ‘Breathe’, paving the way for one of the most essential albums of the twentieth century.
The eagerly anticipated-The Fat of the Land, the long-awaited follow-up to Music for the Jilted Generation was hailed as a musical savior rising from the grime of the streets. While the two singles-'Firestarter' and 'Breathe' had hit the number one spot in the United Kingdom, this was electronica, cultivated with the long established techno sound that would break the genre out of Britain and finally plant it on the world stage.


The Fat of the Land falls short of masterpiece status, but what it lacks in with context it makes up for in appeal. It delivered exactly what was expected of it, intense hip-hop-derived rhythms, meaningless spewed fragmented lyrics by Flint and Maxim and the added ingredient of clever reconstructed samples. In part the majority of the album does sound quite similar to 'Firestarter,' though Liam Howlett is an inventive producer, and he can make empty songs like 'Smack My Bitch Up' and 'Serial Thrilla' work and become addictive and infectious and even wholly original. The funky hip-hop of 'Diesel Power” and 'Funky Shit,' as well as the mind-bending psychedelic splurge of 'Narayan' stand out. With guests including Crispian Mills (Kula Shakur) and Saffron of Republica who does an intense, toe-curling version of L7's 'Fuel My Fire,' all these passengers on Fat Of The Land give the album a wider scope and a variation between tracks.

The Fat of the Land does not qualify apparently as a flat-out masterpiece, it doesn’t really need to, the context and the image it set out transcends at times the music, what it did do was introduce us to one of the most enigmatic figures of the last thirty years, Rest In Peace Keith Charles Flint (17 September 1969 – 4 March 2019).

I'm the trouble starter, punkin' instigator
I'm the fear addicted, a danger illustrated
I'm a firestarter, twisted firestarter
You're a firestarter, twisted firestarter
I'm a firestarter, twisted firestarter
I'm the bitch you hated, filth infatuated, yeah
I'm the pain you tasted, fell intoxicated
I'm a firestarter, twisted firestarter
You're the firestarter, twisted firestarter
I'm the self inflicted, mind detonator, yeah
I'm the one infected, twisted animator
I'm a firestarter, twisted firestarter
You're the firestarter, twisted firestarter
I'm a firestarter, twisted firestarter starter

[Kevin Burke 4/03/2019]

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On this day, 31 years ago, British post-punk band Wire released their 7th studio album Manscape
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