The Survival of Mark Pauline Mark Pauline is the founder of Survival Research Laboratories, a mythical moniker among weird-techies, art-punks and general violence seekers across the globe. Pauline began his work in the 80s in the San Francisco punk and art scene defacing billboards and organizing public pranks. Through the decades, he has become a pioneer in technological and performance arts. His vaguely anthropomorphic creations are some of the most dangerous machines ever made, rivaling the military, but instead of turning their threats on us, the machines blow each other up and let us watch.
New book from Ian Shipley about his exploits as a gravedigger out now with bozart on cover!!!! order here... http://www.gravetales.co.uk/ WRETCH FALAFEL will have a review of this up very soon. Meanwhile, here's the cover art. Click on image to enlarge!
A horror story for the music enthusiast... Tradition dictates that I begin by laying down hard facts I have absolutely no basis for... You're bound to have at least 5 different favourite bands of all time before the age of 18..... If you're a complete fuckhead with no integrity, you'll probably have more 'cos your crap friends made you like all stuff they unwisely spent their money on... so anyway... there you are, skipping home like a rent boy on Good Friday, with the new album by your very very favouritest band of that week of your life... you run to wherever you have access to musical hardware, whether it be state of the art Technics or orange and black Steepletone... plastic wrapper is ripped from product... play procedure is activated and... excited smile disintegrates through nervous eagerness and nausea until forced smile disappears... out of the speakers melt this unfamiliar spew... Panic!!!!!!... Shit, they've put the wrong record in the sleeve... Check the centre label... no... Ok, maybe some other band was pressed on the vinyl and was labelled as your desired product accidentally, or by some disgruntled youth at the pressing plant who reckons he's hilarious... try and match lyrical content with that which is printed on the sleeve... A feeling of disgorgement overcomes you... Suddenly it all becomes very clear... the band that meant so much to your bad life has finally gone shit... Fanaticism for this band's sense of infection and principle simply vacates your body and drifts out the nearest window... numerous attempts are made to allow that period of time where the record might grow on you... hmmmmm... no, it's still crap... Within minutes, your new record by your very, very favouritest band of that week of your life is laid in it's permanent resting place... on the wrong side of that copy of "Bat out of Hell" you've had since you were eight... It is never brought up by you in conversation and only ever spoken of with abrasive venom... So much for a safe bet. " Well..... ", say the smart arsed, "It's never going to happen to my favourite band 'cos I've got such an awesome taste in music etc etc........." .........WRONG ....... Band gets popular... disposable money means cocaine for brunch... band with solid idea of what compels them suddenly become "Artistes".... extra truck is needed on the road to house ego... songs disappear, only to be replaced by doctored studio jams which take months to record... Line-up fluctuations are a good signal...... as are big ass contracts, albums being released when you know the band's been on the road for the last 11 months, or just the follow up to a damn good record. Whatever the excuse, a bad record from a good band is still a bad record, so let's examine the culprits. Prime beef.... step on up BLACK FLAG... many called them the baddest band in the land, but after Dez Cadena finally vacated and left MY WAR as hollow unfinished business, they jammed on the breaks, took a swift left at ass-water junction and down the urinals of hair, metal-envy and road burn. Think about it...SLIP IT IN, IN MY HEAD, LOOSE NUT... what a puddle of fucking donkey skutter... I mean, Come on!! .... This band wrote Nervous Breakdown, The DAMAGED album.... a severe case of crumbling from monuments to mole hills. The crossover between punk and metal is probably a major stumbling ground for the weaker of the species. Many have successfully milked the best of both genres, but the histories of SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and CELTIC FROST map the ugly side of things. For a bunch of idiot kids who thought they were hispanic homies, ST vomited one of the great glorious rackets of hardcore punk's wonder years. They looked like filthy east LA scum, ruined dozens of white dinner shirts with badly drawn skulls and pathetic grammar, and were apparently fond of skateboarding and posturing. Fair enough... a bit of juvenile negativity was never really a problem, but when the abrasive torrent becomes a vomitorium of whingey self pity, mini-trasher emotive melodies and stupid bandanas, you can't help but wondering how ST slipped by the first Nuremberg wallet chain trials. As for the chocolate munching alpine twits - the European ambassadors of metal operatic pomp doom - CELTIC FROST - Not only did they boast a seminal use of corpse paint and one Thomas Gabriel Warrior, the worlds third ugliest man (after Aristotle Onassis and Andrew Lloyd Webber), but one of the most laughable falls from grace.
Onwards into the trappings of consciously trying too hard to design a saleable commodity which no one subsequently bought, these HR Giger buddies turned to pink plastic trousers and poodle haircuts. And the reason? ... maybe it was because Poison, Motley Crue, G'N'R and Faster Pussycat were all charting and poor Thomas Fischer wasn't getting any pocket money off the dodgy accountant at NOISE INTERNATIONAL. Whatever sad motive lay behind it, Celtic Frost created a COLD LAKE and sank very deeply into it. No doubt now manning petrol pumps & guitar shops in the alps. Quite often, it'll take a long time off the cocaine to realise just how knee deep in the sludgy rectal drippings you actually are. For a prime example look at BLACK SABBATH. Were the following really necessary or remotely in keeping with the first 4 years of records.... 1. Bill Ward's Underpants on the cover of SABOTAGE 2. Rock'n'Roll Doctor 3. Live Evil 4. Ian Gillan 5. SEVENTH STAR 6. That "..featuring Tony Iommi " nonsense 7. Tony Martin 8. THE ETERNAL IDOL 9. The return of Dio
9 steps to fucking hell if you ask me - It all started with a public display of bad underpants and went skew-ways from there. Only the immense weight of quality from the early years pulled them out of that one - Which, I guess kind of made their reformation a guardian JCB or something, which eventually excavated and restored a relic of world heritage. And maybe, just maybe, Tony Iommi can sleep without incontinence pants now. Poor disillusioned child... And sometimes, even the bands themselves will hide away their records, stash them among their mothers scratchy Carol King originals and run. I'm all up for experimentation, but an adequate group of musicians will fall harder than a shower of feckless losers when said experiment exits to the world via the ringpiece. Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a little old Southern Californian punk rock group called BAD RELIGION. They recorded a fist full of EPs, and an adequately seminal punk album. Following on from this - acoustic guitars, concepts, swirling underproduced keyboards and riffs straight from the new Journey album. Rehabilitated punk elders Graffin and Gurewitz were left to complete their INTO THE UNKNOWN "Observation" alone as various peripheral musicians from the original band dropped their hardware and vacated. Personally, I blame Greg Graffin, only a career micro-biology could possibly confuse anyone into writing songs with titles like " CHASE THE WILD GOOSE ". Betchya that's not exactly a live favourite there Greg. Redemption overkill in subsequent years gave this toss a hiding place. Somehow, the lesson learned for all to heed is along the lines of - Southern Californian punk rock and King Crimson (not that there's anything we dislike about them) DO NOT MIX.
Onward down Gock Highway we pass more fast lane wreckage than it's possible to actually give a toss about..... although It's nice to see various members of the Eagles splattered out as roadkill. This is where they always belonged... But let's not get sidetracked, this is about bands that had worth at some point, let's see if we can find any corpse matter specific to our study... there is of course the matter of the phenomonal retardant of many late 70's punk bands. The 80's (bless 'em) crept over the roof tops like a heavy mist of Agent Orange and the punk casualties were tremendous. I summon to the dock THE DAMNED and the STRANGLERS. Our question - why must we see your utterances of guff clogging up every second hand section from here to Camden Market and beyond. It's odd that parts of a bands discography can be spread across both collectors record shops and car boot sales. It's possible that your actions led countless reformed pensioners attempting to relive past glories with poorly disguised dogshit, where once there were simple but vital and edgy tunes. Our evidence..... EXHIBIT 1 - SLF... The world is not a better place as a result of FLAGS AND EMBLEMS or any subsequent MOR crud. (It's not actually a worse place, but just fuck off anyway). EXHIBIT 2 - THE RAMONES... End of The Century, Suburban Jungle, Pleasant Dreams.... Time and money would have been better spent on rehab. Luckily, redemption followed. EXHIBIT 3 - PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED... Where once there was a highly infuential and innovative industrially laced grindstone, there now lies a career of equal length featuring crap flat straight rock and miserably uninterested vocals. Almost became Billy Idol for a while there!!!! EXHIBIT 4 - THE VIRGIN PRUNES... (see Public Image Limited for exactly the same answer!) EXHIBIT 5 - WIRE... (as above!) I could go on and rip up the tracks of every influential band that springs to mind... they've all got their stinkers and the best ones fall hardest. It stands to reason. They've got more to loose than your average punk toss. Miles Davis had his stinkers, As did Hawkwind, Motorhead, Lee Scratch Perry, Funkadelic... etc... Next time there's a picture disc copy of "The Black Album" by the Damned, "Second Coming" by the Dickies, or jaysus forbid, "The last man in Europe" by the Blades handing amongst the U2 promos in some dingy record hovel run by wankers, remember that it's dosh which could be better spent on destroying your liver. - BOZ