His companion of many years, Young Kim, confirmed that Mr. McLaren died on Thursday, and said that he died of mesothelioma at a hospital in Switzerland.
McLaren is best known, and will be most remembered, for assembling and managing the sneering punk prototypes, the Sex Pistols. Fearsome and outrageous, especially in an era that had just come through yacht rock and disco, the quartet’s sole, 1977 studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, right, remains one of the most influential rock albums ever. (This fact later led McLaren, with typical, consumate bombast, to declare himself “the inventor of punk.”)
I didn’t know about any of that, however, until much, much later. I didn’t know who McLaren even was until one afternoon in 1982, when driving down Commercial Ave. in Freeport, listening to my ‘75 Impala’s radio, I heard the opening wails of his agglomeration with New York’s World’s Famous Supreme Team, “Buffalo Gals.”
instructor Tom McFadden has created a series of rap videos to explain concepts such as gene regulation and evolution. His latest video, entitled “Oxidate It Or Love It” explains how metabolism works while paying homage to “Hate It Or Love It” by 50 Cent/The Game and “On To The Next One” by Jay-Z.
I can’t even begin to look at this 2006 bit, below, from MADtv’s twelfth season, too often. “I Want You To Watch Me Play Madden” features former cast member Jordan Peele, above, as a guy whose notion of foreplay is getting his girl (castmate Nicole Randall Johnson) to join him in a menage á mille on Xbox Live.
There may be nothing more pitiful than a guy who mounts his self-absorbtion cloaked in cheezy seduction, and, in the clip, “Jordan” epitomizes that dude. (Best gags: Hittin’ controller combos (“L-R-L-R-UP-DOWN…maybe SELECT-STARRRT..”) as his lady’s toes curl, and his triumphant, “HE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT SEX IIIIIIS!!!…WHOA!!!” on the bridge.)
In his time with the show—Peele left MADtv the next year—he demonstrated a sly hand for creating funny skits in the form of faux R&B music videos. “Madden,” however, so perversely twists one form of pop culture into the servitude—and lampooning—of both, it may be his masterpiece. Touchdown.
The music video is crap. “All Right Now”’s incendiary production, and blazing performance by Patti LaBelle, above, though, are both out of this world. Check out this studio masterpiece from her her 1992 Live! album. Play loud.
From manufacturer Hot Toys’ Icon series, the 1/6th scale figure features, right,
• Hot Toys’ slim version TrueType body with over 32 points of articulation
• 2 interchangeable heads – Michael Jackson head and MJ Zombie head
• 2 costumes (original red jacket and pants & zombie suit)
• 2 pairs of white socks with black shoes
• Five (5) sets of interchangeable hands and one (1) additional posing right hand
• 12-inches figure stand with the classic Thriller title and Michael Jackson nameplate
The accessories enable you to alternately create either the cute, moviegoing Michael Jackson, above right, or the zombie MJ, above top, with only one purchase.
I’ll make a bet, watch my words: Some brilliant, self-taught white kid living in Minnesota, or Kansas, is going to get one of these, a video camera that shoots still frames, and recreate the entire zombie dance sequence from “Thriller” using this, as an animation project. Me, I wanna get two of them and make ‘em fight each other. Hot Toys’ Michael Jackson “Thriller” 12-inch Figure, out 1st Qtr 2010, $189.99.
In the case of Lit drummer Allen Shellenberger, right, who died last Thursday in his mother’s home of brain cancer, a month before his 40th birthday, I’m familiar with, literally, three minutes and forty-eight seconds of his output. But even though I couldn’t have named the drummer or his band from memory this morning, what I knew of him affected me enough to, a decade later, instantly recall that I could dig up more about him by Googling “Lit, Pamela Anderson.”
You know hip-hop is in a quandary when rappers with fortunes as disparate as Jay-Z’s (“D.O.A.: Death of Auto-Tune”) and Black Moon’s Buckshot’s, above, are crying for profound artistic change. With the addition of the culture’s grand oak, KRS-One, to the fray, however, we now have a call for reform with true moral weight and undiffused authority.
That siren sounds loudly on KRS and Buckshot’s lead single, “Robot,” from their upcoming album, Survival Skills. Against director Todd Angkasuwan’s sparse digital vistas, the video portrays the duo as last men standing in a music world gone wholly fake, one filled with genetically spliced rappers and synthetic video dancers. Keeping with their theme of order-obeying, mechanical men, there’s even a brief cameo from Optimus Prime, though, thankfully, none from Skids and Mudflap. Check it out, below, and then peep their brief “making of” feature.
You know: The kind you’ve seen erupt over and over in Black females since D near-dangled his dingle on MTV. Even more, what’s weirder: That the pallid Roth would choose to mock himself this way, or that D’Angelo has taken nearly a decade to follow up his last album, Voodoo?