ORGAN THINGS: The return of L7, more activity from The Pop Group, another turn of Rude Mechanicals…

Friday things? Some music? Let’s see…. The return of L7, the impure and dissonant sounds of those Rude Mechanicals and more activity from The Pop Group, how does that sound for Friday things? (One day we might write some proper reviews and things again, for now, we’ll just get out our Pritt and pass on the information)

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Rude Mechanicals are promising another night of “true, impure and dissonant sounds”, featuring:  “The incomparable high strangeness of the Rude Mechanicals, Orlando’s extra-planetary pop and the debut of post-apocalyptic psych rockers After Man”. it happen on February 7th  at Apiary Studios, 458 Hackney Rd, E2.  Facebook details here.  Here’s something someone around here said at some point sometime back when we first encountered Rude Mechanicals back there..

“Rude Mechannicals have to be seen, no they really do have to be seen – they all look so intriguingly good, they demand your full attention, your fascination… there’s some seriously good musicians up there and it all seems to flow so so easily, so effortlessly when it should be so uncomfortably awkward… And there in the middle, looking radiant in her long red dress and big white hair and in finger-pointing control of everything is Miss Roberts. Telling us how to dance in such a charmingly refreshing (and wonderfully plummy) way, and we can’t help but respond to her elegant demands… Miss Roberts will take control. Rude Mechanicals are wonderfully good… They leave the stage to wild applauds…”  The Organ Grinder, Organ Magazine

 

 

The original L7 line up has reformed, “ATTENTION: YOU DID IT!!! Your support, prayers, pleads, demands, and harassment here on this page have worked! The Original Line-up of L7 ARE REUNITING! (and it feels so good). WOO HOO!”  The notoriously fine band are Kickstarting a documentary…. They said something about playing Download at Donnington this year as well, you’d have to play us serious money to even consider dragging ourselves to that living hell though, hopefully there’s more UK dates…

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Back in the days of Atom Seed and The_Organ when Atom Seed shared a label with L7 over here in the UK we made an L7 zine, must dig it out. Actually the A&R man of the UK branch of the label once said called me up asking if I knew of any good all-girl rock bands, seems they wanted “something like Hole or Babes in Toyland”, I pointed out to him he already had a great band on the U.S side of the label called L7, to which he replied something like “Really, I didn’t know that, I though that was just some catalog number for something, I keep seeing that number on paperwork”

#365ArtDrops Part 23 (SW)

#365ArtDrops Part 23 (SW)

More from The Pop Group

“Post punk provocateurs The Pop Group have collaborated with acclaimed Italian director and actress Asia Argento on the video of their first single Mad Truth from their forthcoming new album, Citizen Zombie!.

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“The priestess of provocation, Asia Argento is a kindred spirit in this crazy zombie world we live in, we were born to collaborate, she’s the bomb!” Mark Stewart, 2015

“Collaborating with The Pop Group is a dream come true. The track blew my mind: all the set-ups and symbols in the video are inspired on a subconscious level by the music and the lyrics. I imagined a world ruled by the colourful souls of eternal children, expressing their crazy love through art, a spiritual warfare against a world populated by the living dead. The kids that appear in the video have worked also in the last movie I directed, including my daughter Anna-Lou. Between us there is a deep bond of trust and freedom.
The same freedom I was given by the band when they chose me to direct their first single in 35 years. I am deeply grateful to have my vision entwined with MAD TRUTH for eternity.” Asia Argento, 2015

The single is taken from the 11-track album, released through Freaks R Us on Monday February 23rd 2015, here’s another taste, we are all prostitutes…

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popgroup_weareall“Margaret Thatcher was the Queen of pain, using paramilitary police as a private army for the bosses, trying to break the backs of organised labour with a complete F**k You attitude. That’s why we made the image of her making the V sign. We had the idea of a t shirt as a portable anti-propoganda machine. She really exposed the gangster bankers for what they are / the vulture funds and arms dealers were laughing like hyenas destabilising continents and making cash from chaos. Surely they are the ones who should be censored for the obscene inequalities!” – The Pop Group for Italian Newspaper ‘IL Manifesto’ on the story behind the Thatcher We Are All Prostitutes T-Shirt.

The #365ArtDrops go on, Part 29 was painted on a piece of seven inch blue vinyl record and put out under an East London railway bridge yesterday

#365ArtDrops Part 29 (SW)

#365ArtDrops Part 29 (SW).

#365ArtDrops (SW)

#365ArtDrops (SW)

L7 ON THE DOCUMENTARY

THE FILM

Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker, Sarah Price (American Movie, The Yes Men, Summercamp), L7: Pretend We’re Dead takes us on an all-access journey into the 1990’s grunge movement that took the world by storm, and the band that helped define it as the genre of a generation.

Culled from over 100 hours of vintage home movies taken by the band, never-before-seen performance footage, and candid interviews, L7: Pretend We’re Dead is an engrossing time capsule told from the perspective of L7, these true insiders who brought their signature blend of grunge punk to the masses!

Chronicling the early days of the band’s formation in 1985 to their height as the ‘queens of grunge,’ the film takes a roller coaster ride through L7’s triumphs and failures, providing never-before-discussed insight into the band’s eventual dissolution in 2001.

L7: Pretend We’re Dead has unwittingly become the catalyst for a recently announced reunion of the band, becoming perhaps the silver lining in this rags-to-never-quite-riches story.

Dee, Donita, Suzi, Jennifer
Dee, Donita, Suzi, Jennifer

The Story

Formed by Donita Sparks and Suzi Gardner-guitars/vocals, the band completed their lineup with the addition of Jennifer Finch on bass/vocals and Dee Plakas on drums.

To highlight the fact that L7 was an all-female group, however, was to miss the point. “Our fans couldn’t give a shit if we’re women,” Sparks says. “We did not set out to be an all-girl band. It just happened that way.”

No matter, the formula— one part Donita’s love of pop and punk, one part Suzi’s hard rock and blues, and charged lyrics that had political bite and humor— proved enough for the disenfranchised, the marginalized…the punk.

“I like their rebelliousness,” said Joey Ramone, “it’s about being liberated and calling the shots… I definitely see a lot of us in them and we’re proud of that.”

Donita Sparks with Flying V
Donita Sparks with Flying V

“We’re livin’ large in our own little way. We’re livin large and we don’t get paid” -Livin Large, Slap Happy (1999)

That the “gender issue” would return time and again for the band becomes a recurring theme in L7: Pretend We’re Dead: from shock jocks refusing to play “chick rock” to academics accusing the band of “incorrectly” embracing their feminism to members of the press implying the band was merely riding a wave of “grrl power” trendiness.

Smell the Magic T-Shirt
Smell the Magic T-Shirt

Despite these obstacles, the band carried on with a style and authenticity hard to deny and uniquely their own. “How anyone can accuse them of riding a bandwagon is beyond me,” writes the Dean of American Rock Critics, Robert Christgau. “Songs like “Wargasm,” “Diet Pill,” and “Shitlist” fulfill the ancient prophecy of a time when gurls would reinvent punk out of sheer delight in their own power.”

L7 would go on to use this power by partnering with the Feminist Majority Foundation to form Rock For Choice, a nonprofit organization raising awareness and much-needed funding for women’s reproductive rights issues. Often hosted by L7, each Rock For Choice concert featured the biggest acts of the day, from Nirvana and Joan Jett to Pearl Jam and Rage Against The Machine.

Reward Tier Hollywood Palladium 1992 Vinyl
Reward Tier Hollywood Palladium 1992 Vinyl

L7: Pretend We’re Dead shows the thread of influence the band had not only on rock and roll but on future generations of women everywhere and is, at the end, a testament to the pioneering spirit of a band that refuses to take anything lying down.

“They can’t hear a word we said, when we pretend that we’re dead”

Pretend We’re Dead, Bricks Are Heavy (1992)

Discarded Test Polaroid Book
Discarded Test Polaroid Book
Jennifer Finch
Jennifer Finch

THE TEAM

Robert Fagan (Producer) is an award winning producer that has produced five feature-length films to date including the critically acclaimed “The Life of Reilly” ( starring Charles Nelson Reilly), and the cult hit comedy “Dummy” (starring Adrien Brody, Milla Jovovich), a film Richard Roeper calls, “the best ventriloquist -stalker -family-drama -romantic -comedy I’ve seen in, well maybe forever.” Two Thumbs Up. As a founding member of 42 Entertainment, Robert has also worked on some of the most heralded trans-media projects ever. He is an active member of the Producer’s Guild of America where he serves on the Mentor Committee and is a featured speaker at Universities and guest panels.

María Aceves (Producer) a native of Bilbao, Spain, is an accomplished multi-lingual producer showing versatility and skill in delivering high profile commercials, multi-platform campaigns and live events for Fortune 500 companies including Live Nation, Ford,  7UP, Orange Cellular, T-Mobile, Comcast, and Toyota, to name a few. As a founding partner of LA Panda, a production company begun with a collective of like minded Spanish filmmakers now living in Hollywood- whose mission is to bridge the gap between the Latin American, European and U.S. film industries- she has seen recent success with the  2014 SXSW award winning feature 10,000KM. A trained musician, Maria also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration & Management and a Masters in International Finance from Universidad del País Vasco.

Sarah Price (Director): Sarah is a director and producer, known for the feature documentaries American Movie (1999), The Yes Men (2003), and Summercamp! (2006). Price was also a cinematographer on The Yes Men Fix The World (2009), and a Co-Producer of Youssou N’dour: I Bring What I Love (2008), about the Grammy award-winning African singer. Having played drums and guitar herself in various indie bands for over 10 years, Price brings unique insight to the L7 film.

JoLynn Garnes (Editor): JoLynn edited the acclaimed feature documentaries The Fearless Freaks (about the band The Flaming Lips), All Dolled Up: A New York Dolls Story, and Summercamp!. In addition, she has edited national commercials and music videos for artists including Prince, Low, Poliça, Liz Phair, The Flaming Lips, and Bon Iver. Garnes also provided the background visuals for Beyoncé’s 2007 world tour, The Beyoncé Experience.

THE FUNDS

Since 2013, the filmmakers have spent hundreds of hours digitizing, reviewing, assembling and editing material sourced from numerous origins including VHS, Hi-8, YouTube, Super 8 and TV footage.

It was very important to us and to the band that before we brought this project to you backers, we knew that we had a special film on our hands.

These funds will now allow us to complete the final production process including some key interviews, the licensing of broadcast footage, final editorial, sound mix, sound design and artwork.

“We can’t wait to share it with you”.  – Kickstarting a documentary

 

Photo by Michael Lavine
Photo by Michael Lavine
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