Gong was formed in 1967 by Daevid Allen and his girlfriend, Gilli Smyth (AKA Shakti Yoni), soon after Allen left the Soft Machine. They put out five albums with a constantly evolving lineup up until they both left the group in 1975. Gong continued on without them but sucked balls. Since then, both Allen and Smyth (sometime together, sometime separately) have worked with a number of bands using the Gong moniker in some form or another - Mother Gong, Acid Mother Gong, Gongmaison, NY Gong, you'N'gong. In 1977, Allen and Smyth joined up with a UK free-festival band called Here & Now to form Planet Gong. They recorded a live concert in Toulouse, France and released it the following year as Floating Anarchy,. The album contained all the weirdness you'd expect from a Gong album (Allen's whimsical chanting, Smyth's over-the-top space shrieking) with some of the best psych-punk shredding I've ever heard (think Hawkwind at the top of their game). Legend has it that while the band performed, there was a riot going on outside the gates when 3,000+ aggro hippies couldn't get into the sold-out festival. This shit rips but you don't have to take my word for it. Download it here.
This gets majorly heavy if you can make it to the end.
In 1983, a Toronto-dwelling furniture upholsterer named Tony Jeffery began recording music in his mother's basement after his wife and children left him. He recorded hundreds of songs that never saw the light of day for over two decades. In 2008, a friend suggested he put his music on Youtube. He put on a silly costume and filmed himself lip-syncing to a few of his songs. He posted them under the moniker Tonetta and soon began to garner quite a bit off attention.
Although his music suggests (to my ears, at least) hints of Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Captain Beefheart, Ween, and the Frogs, Tonetta claims that he has pretty much avoided listening to music or watching TV since he started recording in '83. "I don’t think [those things] would help at all because it would probably make me sound more like other stuff, you know what I mean? If I listen to music it’ll make me sound like these people."
Black Tent Press started releasing his material a couple of years ago but he still records on whatever cheap-ass equipment he can get his hands on and he's never played a live show.
Jean Giraud aka Moebius aka the greatest comic artist of all time died this morning. Even if you're not a comic book fan you're probably aware of his work in some form or another. He was one of the founders of Heavy Metal magazine. He collaborated with Alejandro Jodorowsky on a number of graphic novels and a movie adaption of Dune that was never finished. He contributed storyboards and concept design for Willow, Tron, and Alien and his comic, L'Incal, was the main influence on The Fifth Element. He was a crazy-talented artist and he will be missed.