Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ramblin' Jack Elliott, 11th Dream Day On ChiTownSoundz, A New Chicago Based Music You Tube Station

MindsiMedia has always had a strong musical component. We have our Mikes Diggs Music posts on our web portal, our selection of Pandora radio stations and music videos on our YouTube and Vimeo channels. We had an all music video station ChicagoRock1 until 2013 when it was terminated by YouTube. With that termination we lost a home for a hundred or more live music videos we'd recorded in and around Chicago over the years.

Since then I've re posted some of the videos here and there now we've decided to start a new music based channel. ChiTownSoundz will be the new home for those old videos and a new ones. Here we give you a little sample of the nuggets from our vault. For more check out ChiTownSoundzAre you a musician or in a band from the Chicago area? Let us know send us a link we'd like to serve as a clearing house for local artists.

11th Dream Day

11th Dream Day is one of the original Chicago alternative rock bands from the 1980's. Their "Prairie School Freakout" lp is one of my favorite records of all time. A towering testament to the kind of fuzzy, feedback laden sound made famous by Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

They've only recorded a dozen lps since they began 32 years ago in 1983. That combined with a not very active tour schedule has kind of kept them from the limelight. This clip is from a May 2011 concert in Chicago's Millennium Park. The tune is "Among The Pines" from the afore mentioned Prairie School Freakout lp

Rambling Jack Elliott

Rambling Jack Elliott is one of the original folkies and has inspired generations of folk, blues and rock artists. He was living with Woody Guthrie and his family in 1950 and met Bib Dylan at Woody's bedside in 1961. Over the years he has recorded more than 40 albums. If you want to learn more about this music icon check out his web site.

This clip of him doing "San Francisco Bay Blues" at Chicago's Bluesfest in 2010. It is the year he won a Grammy for "Best Traditional Blues Recording"

The Insignificant Others

The Insignificant Others were Ed Martinski on Guitar and Vocals, Randy Kertz on bass, and Tom Giers on drums. These guys kicked ass. While they are no longer together I was digging their cd the other day and thought I'd post up some of their videos. Here they are playing at The Friendly Tap, Berwyn Il. in July of 2012. The tune is "Soledad Brother"  their tribute to George Jackson and is featured on the cd.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Amanda Palmer, Lessons In Asking, Listening & Facing Fear

I was at the Forest Park Library last week checking out some books and cds last week. It's amazing that you can check out The Stooges “Funhouse” from the library, but I digress. As I was leaving I took a quick look on the new releases rack. There was a book with a half naked woman on the cover with “The Art Of Asking” artfully scrawled on her chest. The author was Amanda Palmer a name that rang a bell so I checked it out. Maybe there would be more revealing photos inside.

Once I started reading it I realized why her name was familiar. Amanda was one of the “Ted” speakers I had watched her along with millions of others give her talk on the art of giving. For those of you who don't know her she began her career as a human statue in Harvard Square. Amanda would stand on top of milk crates dressed in a wedding gown and white face standing still until someone dropped some money, or other gift, into her hat. Then she would present the giver with the gift of a flower. The exchange was without words.

Anyway that's about all I remembered from the speech or I didn't watch the whole thing. That's kind of the way it works when with online videos for me it's hard to stay all the way through. A book is a different medium when you pick one up it's a commitment without distractions. You tend to give a book more of a chance. At least that's the way it works for me.
So it hooked me I read the story of the human statue. Then she become a musician as half of The Dresden Dolls and would later go on to raise over $1,000,000 on Kickstarter to finance the recording of an album and tour. How she used her blog and Twitter to grow and maintain her fan base. There was also her personal story culminating with her marriage to author Neil Gaiman.

Throughout the story underlying all the different parts was the same three interrelated themes asking, listening and facing fears. I don't know if it's a great book but it is very entertaining it's message spoke to me and showed me something missing in my own life. Apparently she is also a controversial figure who a lot of people dismiss as a greedy egotist. Well that may be true but she wouldn't be the first artist to be guilty of those “sins” and shouldn't diminish her art or message.

Now I've never heard her music until just this moment as I'm writing this part about how the themes of her book/life related to my life. Or to be more precise didn't relate to my life because as I was reading I could see that these were things that I was all terrible at. People kind of scare me so I've never been good at asking, listening and much better at hiding from than facing up to my fears. Maybe I realized the different parts but never got how they related to one another.

It goes a long way to explaining how I find myself at sixty having lost everything I ever had and desparatly trying to create a new virtual life here online and even after six years finding it hard to connect with people. Well it's never to late to learn. Thanks Amanda, good book and some pretty bitching tunes.

Find out more about Amanda Palmer by visiting her web site.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jimi Hendrix Goes Up In Flames, Tours With The Monkees and Pink Floyd + MORE

We started a Mikes Diggs Music section on out web portal because well I dig music and I used to have a business selling records called Mikes Diggs. Anyway we have a page that has some offbeat Hendrix videos and stories on it. Like the one about The Jimi Hendrix Experience's short lived tour with The Monkees! It lasted for just eight dates before Jimi flipped off the audience and quit the tour. Below is a brief video of Monkee "bassist" Peter Tork's memories of the tour. The web post features much more.

Also included is footage; of a Stockholm concert from 1969, Jimi checking out Buddy Guy then getting up on stage with him from 1968, a blistering version of Machine Gun played as a tribute to slain Black Panther Mark Clark. There is the story of Jimi's November 1967 English tour with Pink Floyd and should you havea spare $14,000.00 a chance to buy a rare dual autograph of Hendrix and Roger Waters. All this and more at


And just for additional kicks I've thrown in this hot Hendrix video.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Following up our musical journey to Ohio in our last post we stay in the middle west for a road trip that is the subject of our latest upload to ChiTownView. In the summer of 1990 Bob & Mike two Chicago area musicians & artists take a road trip to Michigan. They are in search of the Ann Arbor boyhood trailer home of Iggy Pop from The Stooges. The trip continues on to Detroit where our intrepid explorers are looking for The Heidelberg Project an open air creation by outsider artist Tyree Guyton.

Starting in the late 1960's with The Psychedelic Stooges Iggy has been bringing his over the top brand of rock and roll to audiences ever since. Tyree Guyton began his Heidelberg Project in 1986. It is named for the street where this one of a kind art work covers several blocks. It has survived two partial demolitions and continues today.. Here is a link to it's website.

Ohio, A Punk Rock Historical Journey

We begin 2015 (after a brief hiatis) with a musical trip to the state that's round at the ends and hi in the middle) O-Hi-O. Would you believe that during the punk years of the mid 1970's one of the creative centers of the US was Ohio? Yes and San Franciscoright in the middle of the rust belt the Buckeye state was on a par with New York and ahead of hip mecca's like LA and San Francisco. No it was more like Cleveland and Akron. A bold statement you say? Well when it came to overall influence I'll take Ohio over California and let me explain.

In 1974 while bands like The Ramones, Television and Patti Smith were starting to rock the Big Apple there was a punk rock super group having a very short career in Cleveland. Rocket from the Tombs existed for less than a year, never recorded and played a dozen or so gigs seen by maybe a couple of hundred people. RFTT spawned and provided material for The Dead Boys and Pere Ubu. They provided the first punk corpse in guitarist / songwriter Peter Laughter who died in 1977.

The band was started by singer David Thomas (going under the name "Crocus Behemoth" ) in May 1974 as a sort of comedy act. Other members of the original lineup were Chris Cuda, and Glen "Thunderhand" Hach sharing guitar duties bassist Charlie Weiner, with Tom Foolery playing drums. Enter A gifted and reckless guitarist& writer (for Creem Magazine) named Peter Laughner who showed up at some of these gigs. He began jamming with the band and joined soon after that in September.

Rockets became more musical lineup with the addition of Gene O'Connor (Cheetah Chrome), David Bell (bass) and Johnny Madansky (Blitz). Guitarist O'Connor had known Laughner before and been in a band with him. Drummer Madansky was also in a band with O'Connor called Slash. Bell had recently left another veteran Cleveland band, the Mirrors. This version of the band would make it's debut on New Years Eve 1974 blaze brightly for eight months and then go down in flames.

After they disbanded, the personnel split forming two bands. O'Connor and Madansky joined with singer Stiv Bators (who was a sometimes singer in later versions of RFTT) to form Frankenstein, which later became the Dead Boys. Laughner and Thomas went on to form Pere Ubu with bassist Tim Wright (RFTT's soundman). Laughner split after recording the two Hearthhan singles. He moved to New York where he almost joined Television and died in 1977, of acute pancreatitis brought on by years of drug abuse.

The Rocket's repertoire became some of both bands best known songs. The Dead Boys were got "Ain't It Fun," "What Love Is," "Down in Flames," "Caught With the Meat in Your Mouth" (done by RFTT as "I'm Never Gonna Kill Myself Again") and "Sonic Reducer"; Pere Ubu recorded "Final Solution," "Life Stinks" and "30 Seconds Over Tokyo." 

While they never released any singles or lps there is a 19 track cd that came out in 2002 called Day the Earth Met the Rocket From the Tombs that gathers the best of their live recordings. The cd is 74 minutes long with material drawn only from original sources and includes a 12 page booklet. If you'd like to pick it up or read reviews and see the track listing click on the above link. 

Meanwhile less than a hundred miles south in Akron there was hot musical scene that launched The Cramps, Devo and a host of lesser known bands many of which are still around here in the 21st century.

While The Cramps as a band were not part of the Akron music scene the late Lux Interior was an Akron native. He moved to California then he and his lovely cohort Ms. Ivy spent 1973-1975 mutating in Akron where they came up with the Cramps concept while watching late night horror movies. They moved to New York where they went onto fame if not fortune. One of their early classics “The Mad Daddy” was an ode to a legendary local DJ.

Devo was probably Akron's most lasting contribution to the musical universe. We have a fairly extensive previous post about them that can be found here. Below is a 1974 version of their cover of Johnny Rivers “Secret Agent Man”. This video is available as part of a longer video called "The Truth About De-Evolution" that is included on a DVD entitled Devo - The Complete Truth About De-Evolution . It is a 90 disc that is a fairly complete collection of Devo videos. Check it out at the above link.


Akron even had it's own compilation album “The Akron Sampler” that really stunk.

Literally, released on the British label Stiff the first copies had a scratch and sniff cover that smelled of burning rubber. It featured these local legends; Jane Aire & the Belvederes, Tin Huey, Rachel Sweet, The Bizarros, The Waitresses, Rubber City Rebels, Sniper, Idiot’s Convention, Terraplane & Chi-Pig. More about this unique lp can be found at this site
My favorite from the lp is "Beer and a Cigarette"  by Terraplane.

There was also a documentary film called “It's Everything and It's Gone” by Phil Hoffman.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid" (1921) Silent Hall of FameI

I have a viewer that has been getting into silent films and I came across this classic "The Kid" from 1921. It stars, was written, produced, directed and the music composed by Charlie Chaplin. I found it on here it was uploaded by the Silent Hall of Fame. Tom this ones for you.

"The Kid" is a moving social drama with a touch of comedy, created by and starring Charlie Chaplin and featuring Edna Purviance, a star of Silent Hall of Fame.
"The Kid" was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" in 2011.
The film is ranked number 23 in the list of The Top 100 Silent Era Films of the influential website Silent Era.

"The Kid" has an outstanding rating 8.4 in IMDB.

Directed by               Charlie Chaplin
Produced by             Charles Chaplin Productions
Scenario by               Charlie Chaplin         
Starring                     Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan, Tom Wilson
Cinematography       Roland Totheroh
Distributed by           First National Pictures
Release date               February 6, 1921
Running time             52 min.
Country                      United States
Language                    Silent film, English intertitles

SilentHall of Fame is the only place where we actively work to bring back from oblivion the names and legacy of formerly illustrious silent movie stars, which have made a major contribution to the industry and the world but do not have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

We also fight for your right, the right of the public, to see silent masterpieces that have been kept in hidden vaults for far too long. Our website streams for free one such masterpiece that has not been seen in 85 years and is not available anywhere else.

Please visit our website to watch quality silent films absolutely free and to support the legacy of silent movie stars with your tax deductible contribution.

Please spread the word about Silent Hall of Fame and help your favorite silent star receive belated recognition and glory.

Silent Hall of Fame, a nonprofit organization
Preserving the legacy of silent movie stars

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dropping Acid A Trip W/ Mr. LSD, The CIA and George Clinton

There we have been on kind of an acid trip lately, in a purely virtual sense. That is to say we have been exploring / posting some LSD films on ChiTownView and not using this illeagal substance. Here's the rundown of recent activity.

Published on Jan 11, 2013
I came across this, in some ways startling, film while going through the National Archives. The official title is "Schizophrenic Model Psychosis Induced by Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD). This film provides footage of University of California medical tests with LSD supervised by Nicholas A. Bercel MD. Dr. Bercel is the first American to ingest acid.

Tests that seems to have been sponsored by the CIA who had been sponsering research on LSD since 1951. It is a fascinating document showing three men seated in what looks like (from the looks of the wallpaper) someones dining room. The subject William Millarc, an artist, is given LSD 25 and then is interviewed as he's tripping. In 1957 he took his own life despondent over his lack of financial success.

LSD was first synthesized by Dr. Albert Hoffmann in 1938 and was produced by Sandoz labs. To learn more about this fascinating drug here is a link to it's history in comic form.

This clip was used in a recent post on Dangerous Minds. If you want to check it out click here.

Published on July 16, 2014  
"In this educational short "Mr.LSD" explains what horrible things he can do to the human mind.
LSD-25 is a goofier than average drug scare flick produced in 1967 for the San Mateo Union High School District in San Mateo, California. The entire film is narrated by a tab of LSD - a device that Bunuel would have admired.
This one has it all: over-the-top freakouts, groovy fashions, a Satanic mass, trippy visuals and little known factoids like LSD makes kids "paint themselves green." It also features an obscure Jonathan King tune called "Round Round."
Strap yourself in and "join the mind expanding world where colors and sounds and smells and tastes and people all take on new dimensions and qualities."

Published on Oct 28, 2014
A video mashup produced by Scott Calonico using 1960's film footage, including a clip of Sonny Bono. The narration includes historical information about the CIA experiments that came to light in the 1970's during the Ford administration. This is when the MK Ultra experiments and the death / murder of Frank Olson came to light.

Then to round up my trip after uploading this last clip I went to check out the days news at Huffington Post where I came across some words of wisdom from George Clinton a man who's had some non-clinical experience in the field of LSD research.

GeorgeClinton Details The Nasty Effects Of Eating Soul Food On Acid

"We were still ghetto kids eating soul food. You can't eat soul food and do acid," Clinton said with a laugh. "You really have to become vegetarian because it don't work on meat. Besides, tripping on the meat, looking at it while you're eating it, it comes out messed up. And like I said, we were pitiful with hemorrhoids."
Watch the rest of the clip above, and catch the full HuffPost Live conversation here