Beowulf reigns for fifty years and, with time moving continuously forward, he grows old.
Simone Simon in a publicity still for “Cat People”
"Catastrofuk" — John Cale
From the EP Extra Playful 
This video is a trip. And pretty marvelous.
Cale’s pose at the end. Perfect.
That time Dallas, Texas, tried to slap an “R” rating on POLTERGEIST, 1982.
The Blob (1958)
Music Video Monday:
"Same Old Madness"  — Ministry
In honor of tomorrow’s release of the two-disc cd reissue of Ministry’s 1984 release Twelve Inch Singles 1981-1984, here’s the vid for the never-officially-released, but oft-bootlegged track “Same Old Madness.” This track is basically the only new piece of material on this reissue, with most of the other material having been released on 2004’s Early Trax compilation.
The reissue business is often a shady one, preying on completists and collectors in ways that become brutally ironic with a band like Ministry who have long railed against the corrupting power of money, capitalism and commerce. Making a living is one thing, exploiting your devoted fan base is quite another. In that sense, “Same Old Madness” remains rather relevant after 32 years. Times may have changed, but only in the finer details of fashion and style, but the broader trends of cultural behavior and ideology have stayed the same.
It’s common knowledge that Uncle Al has railed against this early version of Ministry. Ministry’s (first) musical transition that began most obviously with Twitch and solidified on The Land of Rape and Honey showed a pretty blatant rejection of their early sound. I don’t mind the change, and am happy to follow the evolution of a band if that evolution remains interesting to me. With Ministry, I think they peaked with Psalm 69 and have been spotty ever since—From Beer to Eternity was a nice effort, but didn’t sound that different from the Bush trilogy, with much of its commentary feeling too on the nose to keep me interested. But With Sympathy isn’t really that great of a record either. I don’t, however, see the need to disown it, or poke fun at it. Your career has to start somewhere. I’d rather my debut album be With Sympathy than my most recent album be the wad of tosh U2 just forced on us.
There are some pretty sincere fans of synth-pop Ministry, where industrial isn’t their thing. This is fine. But even by synth-pop standards I don’t think With Sympathy or the Twelve Inch Singles hold up very well. “Same Old Madness” actually stands apart from much of Ministry’s early stuff as a quality song. It shows promise, with its cynical bite and theatricality reminding me of Soft Cell’s Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. The dark pop Ministry dishes out here points to their eventual evolution in the same way “Revenge” does. But it makes sense that it didn’t make it onto With Sympathy—tonally it just doesn’t gel with most of that album’s cuts. Woulda made a killer b-side though (like Depeche Mode’s “Ice Machine” did). So I don’t understand why “Same Old Madness” never got a proper release when groaners like “Work for Love” exist. Makes me think that Uncle Al has always been a strangely uncertain artist, without realizing it. The period from Land of Rape and Honey through Psalm 69 he seemed to get it, having focus, vision, and drive. But after that things get weird and there’s as much confusion as there is coherence. The end looks oddly like the beginning.
Ministry’s importance is pretty obvious and irrefutable, but they are a chaotic mess of a band, with as many misses as hits. It makes for an intriguing story, and a puzzling listen, which is sometimes quite inspiring in the chaos. I admire bands who go for it the way Ministry has done, seeming to defy all common sense and remain painfully loyal to what interests them at the moment, even if that interest is something kinda dumb (Bush trilogy again—three albums is two too many; Bush ain’t worth it, Al!). Ministry never played it safe, which earned my respect, but didn’t make me a devout fan. It does, however, always make me happy knowing Uncle Al is out there, creating havoc. “Same Old Madness,” from a certain angle, works well as a summative observation of Ministry itself.
Louise Brooks, silent and talking film actress, most famous for three racy films made in Europe around 1929, and whose career was unofficially blacklisted in Hollywood because of it. Louise went through a series of careers (and lovers) after that. She was famously a “sexually liberated” woman, unafraid to take photos in the nude and sleep with whomever took her fancy. Her films were re-discovered in Europe in the 1950s and she was proclaimed to surpass even Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo as a film icon, to Louise’s amusement. Since then she has remained a known icon though her star is fading with time.
1956-Forbidden Planet - http://flic.kr/p/nptpXp
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