Tender, Elegant Muskrat Lurve

Just a little afternoon delight, courtesy of Captain & Tennille…

Via Siege. (Of course.) Original song by Willis Alan Ramsey. 

This aired on national television in the late 70s on The Captain & Tennille Show. Toni-T croons of the ardor between two semi-aquatic rodents named Suzie and Sam to the beige and incontinent bleep-bloops of the Captain’s keys. (Apparently, the 7″ single for this tune features an “endless loop” of synthesizer interpretations of muskrat fuck sounds, encoded into the end-groove of the vinyl. It’s the first known hit single to have a recorded locked groove.)

Good times!

Bonus weirdness: here’s a home karaoke video of a woman covering the same song while holding her rather shellshocked-looking guinea pig, Simon, aloft.

BTC: Happy Birthday, Björk!

Good morning! On this day in 1965, in Reykjavík, Iceland, a strange and delightful being called Björk Guðmundsdóttir was born. Or hatched out of a pod. Or was ejected from a volcano. Or something. Whatever.

Anyhoo… 46 years later, she’s still brimming with vim, vigor, and weirdness. Coilhouse has compiled a massive YouTube playlist of her music videos to honor the occasion of her whelping, and hopefully help you to wake your ass up on this glacially chilly November morn.

Click here to watch the rest of Coilhouse’s EPIC BJORK BIRTHDAY PLAYLIST ON TEH YOOTOOBZ.

The Cutest Goose-steppin’ You’ve Ever Seen:

shop 0, ailment 40, see 0″>
Via DJ DeadBilly.

Dapper band nerds + waterfowl = ZOMGSQUEE. Who knew?!

Video Mementos of the Black & White & Red All Over Coilhouse Ball

It’s a momentous week for Coilhouse Magazine and Blog. Please be sure to check in often, as we’ll be making a lot of important announcements over the next few days. The first of which iiiis…

THE NEW PRINT ISSUE. It’s so close. Eeeee! Better late than never, right? We couldn’t have pushed through and gotten it completed, paid for and printed without the tremendous support our readers, contributors and friends have given us. Once again, huge gratitude to every single person who has helped out.

Today, we want to extend a special thank you to two volunteer videographers who captured footage of our big fundraising birthday party in New York City last August: Keith Jenson and Abigail Amalton. Keith and Abi have shot and produced not one, but two gorgeous video mementos of the event. Here they are:

“On August 21, 2011 Coilhouse left the cozy comforts of their west coast catacombs to throw an epic fundraiser at the Red Lotus Room in Brooklyn, New York for the release of Issue 6 (of their oh-so-beautiful print magazine) and to celebrate their fourth birthday! Over 300 people turned up to the Gemini & Scorpio-presented event for a dancey, glittery, silk/fire/trapeze/music-infused evening full of wonder and awe and love.”

Keith and Abi are sweethearts with quite the squee-inducing origin story! At the Ball, they told Mer that Coilhouse actually played a substantial role in bringing them together; when they first met, Keith noticed some of Abi’s Coilhouse schwag, and they bonded over their mutual appreciation for the site and the mag. (SWOOOON.)

Thank you so much for coming out and documenting that wonderful night, you beauties.

Keith & Abi at the Ball. Photo by Steve Prue.

Also see:

Better Than Candy Corn: KXVO’s “Happy Jack Pumpkin Dance”

Good morning, all you grim, grinning ghosts!

A few years ago, KXVO News (of Omaha, Nebraska) produced a video (sparing no expense!) called the “Happy Jack Pumpkin Dance”. Apparently, it aired without warning or explanation during one of their Oct. 31st broadcasts, and has since become a not only a local sensation (the playlist above includes not just Jack Pumpkin’s original appearance, but ensuing Christmas and Valentine’s day editions), but a viral hit as well, spawning several remixes and mashups.

Merry Goth Christmas, Halloweiners! May your day be full of boundless, wiggly, unitard-clad lurrrrve.

The Tango, the Quark, and the Allegory of Love

Please welcome guest blogger Eden Gallanter! Eden is a painter and writer. She also works on sustainable urban planning and restoration ecology in landscape architecture. In addition to these talents, Eden is an accomplished tango dancer. In this article, Eden tells tales of subatomic physics and Mannerist painting – and what they have to do with tango, a fascinating dance form not yet covered on Coilhouse. Enjoy! – Ed.

Article and illustration by Eden Gallanter

Argentine Tango is the most difficult of all partner dances.  Intimidating, overwhelming, and endlessly complex, one may reasonably wonder at the continued prominence of social Tango dancing.  After all, beginners can expect to spend many months in practice before venturing out to a Tango dance (called a Milonga), and even then, most dancers must endure a few years, at least, of rampant unpopularity.  Even those who are skilled in other partner dances, such as Swing, Salsa, or Waltz, usually find themselves disconcertingly back at beginner level when learning the Argentine Tango.  Everything you hated about your middle school dance instruction (whether this involved a finishing school-style class in ballroom dancing or just a traumatic experience at a school dance) is amplified, all of your insecurities lining up to greet you if you decide to learn Tango, the most demanding of all social dances.

Then what are people coming back for?   The truth is, it’s the very qualities that make Tango so difficult that also make it so rewarding.  Tango isn’t hard because of all the moves you must learn, it is hard because it relies on the partner connection more than any other dance.  If you’re dancing a Viennese Waltz and your partner doesn’t know what he or she is doing, you can at least dance the correct steps anyway and hope that your partner catches on– but if you’re dancing a Tango, this is next to impossible.  You can’t move a single step if your partner can’t feel where you are, or where you’re going.   Leaders have somewhat more control over this connection than followers do, but the lesson is the same: without a physical understanding of the position and direction of your partner, there is no dance.  In Tango’s closed position, the two of you are leaned against one another, the centers of your chests aligned.  You are sharing a single gravitational axis, and, for better or for worse, you move as one.  This is precisely what makes this dance both terrifyingly difficult and, at the same time, perilously, wonderfully, heart-stoppingly intimate.

Bautiful tango video to post from a festival in Montreal set to Cat Power’s weird, moody cover of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

This heavy emphasis on partner connection doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of moves to learn in Tango.  There is an amazing array of styles, steps, and decorations to learn, though all depend strongly on the partner connection in order to work.  The boleo contra (“throw against,” in Spanish) is made with a bent knee while the whole body rotates, drawing a graceful circle in the air with the toe.  The boleo contra results from an abrupt change of direction between you and your partner, releasing the energy of opposite motion; done quickly, it feels like the beating of wings, each partner using the other’s momentum to execute a series of brief kicks.

The partner connection is not the only relationship that matters on the dance floor, though it is of the most vital importance.  The best instructors in Buenos Aires teach that there are in fact no less than five “partners” in a single dance: the partner, the floor, the other couples, the music, and yourself.  Tango dancers (called tangueros) must constantly pay attention to all of these.  For instance, if a follower does not move to the tempo of the music, the leader will not be able to stay on beat either, and a vital framework for the communication of one another’s movements is lost.  Negotiating relationships with all five “partners” is essential to the dance, even though all do not require equal attention (and, in fact, for the follower there are only four partners, as it is the leader’s job alone to manage their spatial relationship to the other dancing couples).  If tangueros look overly serious when dancing, it is only because their attention is engaged fully in the demands of the dance.

Angeliska & Amelia & Vintage Vivant

HUGE congratulations to our darling, dollfaced Angeliska Polacheck! She and her consummately scrumptious partner-in-parties, Amelia Foxtrot, are gracing the cover of the current Austin Chronicle, representing their Vintage Vivant shindig for the Best of Austin 2011 awards:

Vintage Vivant is a beautifully presented monthly celebration of Jazz Age culture in Austin, Texas. “A night for glamourous anachronists to dance, drink and delight at the bevy of 1920′s and 30′s themed entertainment. Join us on the last Sunday of each month as we celebrate with vintage cocktails, vintage or vintage-inspired attire and free dance lessons.”

VV regularly compiles 8Tracks mixes to get their attendees in the mood, pre-party. Here’s an addictive assortment of saucy 1920s/30s innuendo songs, presented for their Storyville Bordello party earlier this year:

Angeliskittenhead, who has written multiple pieces for Coilhouse (both in print and on the web) over the years, is also the co-creator of Gadjo Disko and Tranarchy! Amelia helms the Austin chapter of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School. Then there’s DJ Shorty Stump, and Westen Borghesi, who both spin musical selections from the 1920s and 30s.

Austinites, if you aren’t already, join them all at the Swan Dive on the last Sunday of each month to celebrate with vintage cocktails, vintage, or vintage-inspired attire. Plus, free dance lessons!

Congrats again, ladies.

Marquese “NONSTOP” Scott

check 0,40,0″>
via thisiscolossal

Take a few minutes to appreciate this astonishing 29-year-old dancer from Lawrenceville, Georgia, moving to “Pumped Up Kicks (Butch Clancy Dubstep Remix)” by Foster The People. (The entire WHZGUD2 YouTube channel is breathtaking.) NONSTOP is a co-founder of the Remote Kontrol dance crew along with Julius Chisolm and Bryan Gaynor. Glorious.

Lisa Bufano: Dancer/Shapeshifter

“I’m a shapeshifter… I explore the different forms my body can take using different mediums.” – Lisa Bufano. Photo by Gerhard Aba.

Lisa Bufano is a performance artist whose work incorporates elements of doll-making, animation, and dance. Bufano was a competitive gymnast as a child and a go-go dancer in college before she lost her lower legs and all her fingers due to a staphylococcus bacterial infection at the age of 21. Shortly after this occurred, Bufano went on to study stop-motion animation and sculpture at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Bufano’s performances often involve the use of prosthetics and props, and, according to Wikipedia, she lists among her inspirations “medical drawings, historical wax models and dolls, and optical toys; flip dolls and paper dolls; the structural aspects of Japanese jointed dolls, Hans Bellmer’s doll work, Louise Bourgeois’ cell installations, and the animation of Jan Švankmajer and the Quay Brothers.”

Bufano is now working on what may be her most ambitious project yet: a routine using aerial hoop. Bufano is developing a lyra – a steel hoop suspended from the ceiling – designed to accomodate her limited grip. Bufano is currently doing strength conditioning and discovering the movement, holds and momentum of working with lyra:

Below is a clip from her recent performance “One Breath is an Ocean for a Wooden Heart,” a duet with dancer Sonsheree Giles on stilts. Bufano describes the piece as “an unusual modern dance duet for a disabled dancer and an able-bodied dancer that is informed by the relationship between physical transformation and identity.” [via riotclitshave]

BTC (Part II): “Everybody Rock Your [MMD] Body!”

The most ADORKABLE MikuMikuDance video you’ll see all day.

via Jamais Cascio, thanks!

(Aaaaand the runner up.)