Art Imitates Filth
New York’s now defunct CBGB club is remembered for a lot of things — the birthplace of American Punk, legendary concerts by The Ramones, Television and Patti Smith … and those disgusting, filth-encrusted bathrooms in the basement. So it’s fitting that artist Justin Lowe would include a re-creation of the world’s most famous bathroom in an upcoming exhibit at Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Conn., meant to conjure memories of The Bowery neighborhood in 1970s NYC.
Lowe says the bathroom is also inspired by the museum’s connection to the Surrealist art movement. In other words, he didn’t have to change a thing.
Preying on Superfans
According to a recent story in The New York Times, the latest craze in making money on the road for musicians is the “VIP Package,” a pricey gouging of concertgoers that offers questionable “perks.” Take the VIP route for a Bon Jovi concert and you’ll get a BJ metal folding chair, a leather bag and a meal … all for only $1,750 a pop! But the VIPs aren’t “very important” enough to meet Jon Bon Jovi himself, apparently (to be fair, getting that wig … er, hair to look that great every night takes a lot of work).
Other perk packages mentioned include a $350 ticket to attend a Justin Bieber soundcheck (which largely means listening to someone hit a snare drum for 35 minutes) and $1,000 to sit on the stage and watch ’80s star Rick Springfield perform (unlike Bon Jovi, at least Rick gives the gouged fans some face time). There are bargains to be had: For $40, Coolio will drive your drunk ass home after the show, and for $60 the members of REO Speedwagon will come to your home for some post-concert housecleaning chores ($75 and they'll do windows!).
A town in Russia is taking a Footloose approach to Heavy Metal music, with the governor sending a directive to clubs, cafés and restaurants to ban “hard rock music with a heavy metal style.” In an effort to “secure the spiritual safety” of its citizens, business owners were instructed to monitor its music and entertainment offerings in order to combat “Satanist activities.” If you think such idiocy is limited only to the commie pinko bastards of Russia, a U.S. citizen recently trumped that governmental move with naked, unbridled hate.
Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church — also known as the “God Hates Fags” people who show up to protest everything from U.S. soldier funerals to public high schools — were on hand for the funeral of Metal icon Ronnie James Dio in Los Angeles recently. The group’s confused reasoning for the picketing ranged from Dio’s practice of throwing raw meat into the audience and encouraging violence “of EVERY FORM!” to the singer’s enabling of “Sorceries,” which apparently includes the simple act of flashing the Heavy Metal “devil horns” sign.
Your First Amendment rights in action, folks!