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Posts Tagged ‘rockabilly

What do you get if you cross Rockabilly with Punk?…

 

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In the early 80’s, a nightclub known as Klub Foot in Hammersmith, London, became the seed crystal of a musical movement that came to be known as Psychobilly.  As “street anthropologist” Ted Polhemus observed,

At first glance it is hard to imagine a more unlikely combination than Punk and Rockabilly, but the Psychobillies made a virtue of such apparent incompatibility… their fusion of 1950s Americana and 1970s British Punk seemed both obvious and inevitable.

To make the connection one must forget the soft drizzle of sentimentality which in the end became all too typical of the Rockabillies (Elvis singing about Teddy Bears in Vegas) and go back to the angry, licentious snarf of their early days. From this perspective it is clear that the thumping beat, the in-your-face sexuality, the deliberate shunning of prissy sophistication and the greasy quiffs of the early Rockabillies were in tune with Punk’s gutsy spirit of raw rebellion. The Punks simply added a stylistic extremism, an assumption of gender equality and fetishistic trashiness which could not conceivably have existed in Memphis in the mid-fifties. The common denominator is rock ‘n’ roll energy in its purest form…

At one level the Psychobillies exhibited an alarming fixation with violence and wanton destruction, but this was always tempered by a wonderful, surreal sense of humour, which made you smile, even as you crossed hurriedly to the other side of the street.

(From Streetstyle)

The British scene, and the European umbra it generated, dimmed after the demolition of the Claredon in 1988 (but not before influencing many more main-stream Rockabillies to trade in their fancy suits for work clothes); but at about that same point, Psychobilly took root in the U.S, where it lasted through the 90s.  Indeed, to this day Psychobilly delights a relatively small, but dedicated following in the U.S., Europe– and, of course, Japan.

Here, two examples; first, the marriage of Rockabilly and Punk in its purest form: Lemmy Kilmister and Johnny Ramone…

And from earlier days, one of America’s leading Psychobilly bands, Tiger Army…

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As we send discreet birthday greetings to Emily Dickinson, we might recall that it was on this date in 1976 that the “British airwaves turned blue”:  in an appearance on ITV’s morning show, Today, members of the Sex Pistols casually cursed…

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Written by LW

December 10, 2012 at 1:01 am

“Collecting is my passion”*…

 

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Girls on Donkeys #0117

The collector: Lisa Wood, artist and jewellery designer, San Francisco.

The collection: Photo postcards of girls on donkeys.

The story behind the collection…

This collection started about 5 years ago when I came across my first photo postcard of a young girl on a donkey taken around 1910. She was clothed in a beautiful dress, a big bow in her hair and shiny black boots that buttoned up the side. I loved the juxtaposition of the girl dressed in her Sunday best on a seemingly stinky old donkey…

One of the many labors of love on display at Obsessionistas, a showcase for unique and evocative collections.

We believe that in a world of homogeneous ‘me too’ lifestyles, products and brands, individuality can at least in part be expressed through our particular obsessions and what we seek out, keep and collect.

More on Ms. Wood’s collection here.

* Ursula Andress

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As we dust our shelves, we might recall that it was on this date in 1956 that serendipity yielded one of the coolest collectibles ever:  rockabilly legend Carl “Blue Suede Shoes” Perkins was recording at Sam Phillips’ Sun Records in Memphis; Perkin’s buddy Johnny Cash, a Sun artist and a country star by virtue of his recent hits “I Walk The Line” and “Folsom Prison Blues,” was hanging out in the booth; and soon-to-be-famous Jerry Lee Lewis was playing piano (for a $15 dollar session fee– “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” was set for release a few weeks later).

A couple of years earlier, Phillips had launched Elvis Presley with “It’s Alright Mama”; but in 1955, as Elvis’ career exploded, Phillips had sold his contract to RCA, and Elvis moved on.  But The King was back in Memphis that fateful day; he stopped by Sun to say hello… and an impromptu jam ensued.  Phillips had the presence of mind to order his engineer, Jack Clement, to roll tape– a tape that was promptly shelved, forgotten, and unheard for 20 years.  The recordings of what was arguably the first “supergroup” were found in 1976 and finally released in 1981… since when, they’ve been treasured by fans– a new crop of which has emerged with the success of the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet.

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Written by LW

December 4, 2012 at 1:01 am

Ready… Set… Glow!…

Readers who have pending fashion purchases will be relieved to know that Pantone (“the world-renowned authority on color”) has announced the The Color of the Year for 2011: Honeysuckle (PANTONE 18-2120). “A vibrant, energetic hue,” it sounds like just what the doctor ordered…

While the 2010 color of the year, PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise, served as an escape for many, Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life.

“In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Honeysuckle derives its positive qualities from a powerful bond to its mother color red, the most physical, viscerally alive hue in the spectrum.”

Eiseman continues, “The intensity of this festive reddish pink allures and engages. In fact, this color, not the sweet fragrance of the flower blossoms for which it was named, is what attracts hummingbirds to nectar. Honeysuckle may also bring a wave of nostalgia for its associated delicious scent reminiscent of the carefree days of spring and summer.”

And not a moment too soon.

As we realize that this means a wholesale replacement of our accessories, we might recall that it was on this date in 1955 that Carl Perkins recorded his rockabilly classic “Blue Suede Shoes” at Sam Phillips’ Sun Records studio.  Released at the start of 1956, the single was a hit, and was ultimately covered by a number of other acts–  most famously, by Elvis Presley.

The B-side, also written by Perkins, wasn’t too shabby either: “Honey Don’t” was covered by at least 20 other acts, including The Beatles.

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