I have no idea how this slipped past my radar until today (except for the fact that I live in total oblivion to almost everything) but back in 2008 Portland Grindhouse founder and unwavering champion of exploitation cinema Dan Halsted was mistaken for a graffiti "tagger" while walking home from a pub and unceremoniously tackled from behind by police on a dark Northeast Portland city street. The cops failed to introduce themselves or even ID him before throwing him to the ground and tasing him five times (FIVE TIMES! The generally recommended maximum use of force with a taser is no more than three times). Naturally, after the beating Dan was arrested for resisting arrest. Read the story here. Yesterday the City of Portland quietly agreed to pay Dan $250,000 in damages under the condition that Dan not pursue any further action against the city. In court the City of Portland's attorney attempted to use Dan's love for kung fu films and his Portland Grindhouse events as evidence that he is prone to violence. If you've ever met Dan you know the only person he's ever threatened are the assholes who heckle the movie screen during Don't Go In The House (1980). Portland Grindhouse just got about $250,000 richer! By the way, don't miss Squirm (1976) when it returns to the bigscreen on May 29th!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Join me this Wednesday at East End for a very special Walpurgisnacht edition of Last Wednesday On The Left! Spectral forces are gathering and will have their way! I've invited the venerable Markus Wolff to conjure the eight hooves of Sleipnir so expect an intimate set of Germanic hymns as only WALDTEUFEL can invoke. Records spin at 9pm, devils dance at midnight. World without end.
Posted by Dennis Dread at 2:22 AM
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Mythological Metal Monsters is my latest cassette compilation in the Mississippi Records Tape Series. 60 terrifying minutes of hard rock and heavy metal songs about mythological monsters presented with very questionable sound quality and "informative" liner notes for the uninitiated listener. Gorgons! Ghosts! Unicorns! Hydras! Griffins! Needless to say, the best $3 you'll spend all summer. Available NOW only at Mississippi Records. "Release the Kraken!"
5202 N. Albina Ave.
5202 N. Albina Ave.
Posted by Dennis Dread at 6:48 PM
Friday, April 13, 2012
It's Gross Anatomy time again, brothers and sisters! You already know how excited I get when foreboding numerology collides with the weekend but this Friday the 13th is particularly special because it marks the grand re-opening of Mississippi Records in its new and permanent location. This seems like a fitting day to pull the proverbial curtain back and give you a glimpse at some new drawings I did for DEAD MOON since this official posthumous 7" is also the first release in the newly christened Mississippi/Change records catalog! If you're reading this I assume you already understand that Fred and Toody Cole are TRUE rock 'n' roll royalty. But just in case you recently awoke from a deep coma, allow me to put things in perspective. Fred "Deep Soul" Cole is about three years younger than Lemmy so he too remembers the world before the invention of rock 'n' roll (though he'd probably rather forget that part) and he's been independently recording/performing with complete disregard for fame and fortune since 1964. He's partied with the Hell's Angels, polished off Southern Comfort with Janis Joplin, ate LSD when it was still legal, built his own ghost town and cut his own records with a fucking lathe. He met his wife Toody in 1967 after his car ran out of gas in Portland, Oregon and they've been together longer than many of us have been alive. Their various bands have shared the stage with the Misfits (Danzig era, of course), Black Flag, D.O.A., The Bags, The Wipers and Poison Idea to name merely a few. They're also grandparents and still tour the world with their newest band Pierced Arrows (who, as fate would have it, are performing in Portland TONIGHT). To say I was honored by the request for my humble little scribblings is an understatement. And the process turned out to be a well worthy challenge. Ready for an unknown passage?
First, here's a photo of Fred and Toody we snapped just a few weeks ago when they treated a small local audience to a very intimate acoustic set that covered the spectrum of their entire back catalog. This is how music should grow old. With dignity and a little bit of whiskey.
For this project I was charged with the task of developing a simple border to frame two previously unpublished band photos for the front and back covers. Dead Moon had a very specific aesthetic that didn't deviate much throughout their nearly two decade run. Some call it "punk" or "D.I.Y". My kids call it..."janky." Which is probably why it made sense to get a janky artist who draws with ballpoint pens for the job. The real challenge with this one was keeping it raw and unpolished but still classy enough to hold its own.
Dead Moon lexicon is characterized by superstition and symbolism so there was no shortage of powerful imagery to explore. After listening to the four beautiful songs on this record (two previously unreleased and two rare tracks only released on an obscure European compilation), I immediately knew the direction I wanted to take and banged this out in one sitting under the watchful eye of the dagger moon.
It had to have the authentic look so I cut the generic lettering from their first single and glued it down right over the original art. Dead Moon never had a definitive band logo, aside from their iconic skull moon symbol (tattooed on Fred's face like a sideburn), so their typography tended to change from release to release.
Next I banged out the word 'MONO' on my daughter's old typewriter and glued it into place. VOILÀ! Border done. Right? Wrong. Turns out Fred and Toody are more superstitious than I imagined and owls ain't their spirit animal. When they stopped by Mississippi Records to view the art they made a request that I change it to a blackbird. Who am I to disagree with rock 'n' roll? Later that night we got a message from Toody who said Fred also had the great idea to have the bird perched on a tombstone with a Dead Moon epitaph. I got busy and cranked out this inky little crow which was then dropped in over the owl with Photoshop (I just wasn't ready to bury the owl in glue). Next came the band photo- nice and janky like- placed with little regard for pleasing composition...
Second verse, same as the first.
The best part is when we get to blast the test pressing and approve the final product, which will be available in May from Mississippi Records. If you live in the Northwest, be sure to visit them at their beautiful new location which opens...TODAY! I'll soon be rolling out another little treat for M.R. so keep your eyes peeled.
5202 NE Albina Street
Until next time...54/40 or FIGHT!
Posted by Dennis Dread at 2:51 AM
Sunday, April 01, 2012
DANAVA is heading off to seek shadows on European shores so if you reside on that side of the hemisphere be sure to join them at Roadburn and beyond. You won't be sorry. And if you pitch your tent here in the Northwest you can catch the FREE tour cast off this Saturday April 7th at Someday Lounge. I'll be providing the vinyl cartilage so come down and bang the skull that does not bang (although in all honesty it's pretty tough to bang your head to John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness soundtrack).
Posted by Dennis Dread at 1:19 PM