This is not good, not good at all!

In Japan, The Mythical “Stone Of Death” Cracked And Released An Ancient Demon

According to Japanese legend, the mythical “stone of death”, located in Japan, captivated the spirit of a demon a thousand years ago.

Officially called Sessho-seki, this volcanic stone is rumored to contain the mythical Tamomo-no-Mae, also known as the Nine-Tailed Fox.

Now, with frequent downpours eroding the soil, the rock has cracked, sending people into a state of frenzy as they fear the demon has broken free, according to nypost.com.

Sessho-seki is a volcanic rock located in the Nasu Mountains, in the Tochigi Prefecture area. The area is famous for its sulphurous hot springs.

The stone is considered cursed, and Japanese legend has it that anyone who comes into contact with the rock will die. However, this legend is probably related to the fact that next to the artifact there is a source of hydrogen sulfide, which periodically erupted.

According to legend, the stone swallowed an evil demon that looked like a beautiful woman who tried to kill Emperor Toba, who ruled Japan from 1107 to 1123. Since 1957, the stone has been a popular tourist attraction.

According to reports from local sources, the stone did indeed begin to crack a couple of years ago, probably due to weathering.

Now the local authorities are deciding what to do next with the mythical stone and whether it is possible to return it to its original form.

Nine Tailed Fox Demon

The Supernatural Sheep of Slovenia’s Door-to-Door Carnival

To bring spring, hundreds of hirsute revelers roam the country’s villages.

If spring is nigh, and hordes of people are roaming around in sheep costumes making lots of noise, it’s a safe bet you’ve found yourself at Kurentovanje in Ptuj, in northeastern Slovenia. This annual rite of spring carnival begins 11 days before Ash Wednesday—and if you’re in the area, you’ll know.

The core of the carnival consists of groups of Kurenti—folks wearing gigantic sheepskin costumes—going door to door at local homes, forming circles around the residents, and jumping around, shaking sticks adorned with hedgehog skins. The point is to make enough noise to chase away the remnants of winter and other associated evil spirits.

“In fact, it is a special feeling of power and some kind of supernatural energy,” says one participant in a UNESCO video about the festival. “When you put your cap on you somehow go through a certain transformation from the ordinary man to a true Korant [Korent], a supernatural being.” It is a transformation one may make many times in one’s life: Many begin participating with the Kurenti as young children, only to subsequently bring their own children and grandchildren into the fold.

Though Kurentovanje is now a multigenerational phenomenon, and was inscribed in 2017 to UNESCO’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, it is in fact a fairly recent arrival in Ptuj. Though the festival draws on the Kurenti—old folkloric figures—the first organized iteration took place only in 1960. Local historian Drago Hasl was eager to find a way to preserve folk traditions, which found themselves under threat from modernization. He succeeded: Just ask any of the Ptuj residents who answer their doors and are surrounded by spring-bearing sheep.

Marko Klinc fixes a Kurent costume in his workshop. Sheepskins are used for the handmade coats and masks.
Marko Klinc fixes a Kurent costume in his workshop. Sheepskins are used for the handmade coats and masks.
A Kurent and the devil behind him received handkerchiefs at homes they visited in the village of Zabovci.
A Kurent and the devil behind him received handkerchiefs at homes they visited in the village of Zabovci.
A group of Kurenti from the village of Zabovci passes a group wearing Donald Duck costumes before the village parade.
A group of Kurenti from the village of Zabovci passes a group wearing Donald Duck costumes before the village parade.
Hundreds of Kurenti from all over Slovenia descend on Ptuj for the traditional International Carnival Parade.
Hundreds of Kurenti from all over Slovenia descend on Ptuj for the traditional International Carnival Parade.
A Kurent holds a drink during his door-to-door rounds. Traditionally, only unmarried men were allowed to wear the Kurent costume, but not all residents can participate in festivities.
A Kurent holds a drink during his door-to-door rounds. Traditionally, only unmarried men were allowed to wear the Kurent costume, but not all residents can participate in festivities.
Kurenti enter the Slovene national parliament in the capital Ljubljana, as they do every year to bring good fortune and secure pledges of government support for festivities.
Kurenti enter the Slovene national parliament in the capital Ljubljana, as they do every year to bring good fortune and secure pledges of government support for festivities.
On the last day of the carnival period, the Carnival mask is burned and buried.
On the last day of the carnival period, the Carnival mask is burned and buried.

The Marijuana Nuns of Merced, California 

Cannabis-growing ‘nuns’ grapple with California law: ‘We are illegal’

The Sisters of the Valley’s “abbey” is a modest three-bedroom house on the outskirts of Merced, in a cul-de-sac next to the railroad tracks. (Sister Kate calls the frequent noise from passing trains “part of our penance”.) When visitors come to the door, Sister Kate asks them to wait outside until she can “sage” them with the smoke from a piece of wood from a Russian tree given to her by a shaman.

Sister Kate lives here with her “second sister”, Sister Darcy, and her youngest son.

But these aren’t your average nuns. The women grow marijuana in the garage, produce cannabidiol tinctures and salves in crockpots in the kitchen, and sell the merchandise through an Etsy store. (Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the active ingredients in marijuana that is prized for medicinal qualities and is not psychoactive.) The women perform their tasks wearing long denim skirts, white collared shirts and nun’s habits. And while their “order” is small – last week they ordained their third member, a marijuana grower in Mendocino County known as Sister Rose.

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But their ambitions have been thwarted by legislation that was passed last year – 19 years after medical marijuana was first legalized in the state – to regulate the billion-dollar industry through the Medical Marijuana Safety and Regulation Act.  An error in the final text of the law has resulted in scores of cities across the state passing local bans on the cultivation, distribution, and sale of the drug, including Merced, a small city in California’s Central Valley where the Sisters live.

The legislation accidentally established a 1 March 2016 deadline for cities to impose their own bans or regulations on medical marijuana or be subject to state rules, a deadline that assembly member Jim Wood, who authored that section of the bill, said was included by complete accident.

Wood has drafted fix-it legislation, which he’s optimistic will pass in the legislature by the end of next week and be signed by the governor immediately after. But next week is too late for the Sisters of the Valley.

“If it was a typo, that’s great. If it wasn’t, who knows,” said John M Bramble, the city manager of Merced, the morning after Merced’s city council passed its medical marijuana ban. Either way, “it’s too late,” he said. “We’re banning it for now because if we don’t, we’ll have no local control.”

That leaves the Sisters of the Valley in a precarious position. “We are completely illegal, banned through commerce and banned through growing,” said Sister Kate. “They made criminals out of us overnight.”

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Despite Sister Kate’s Catholic upbringing, the Sisters “are not affiliated with any traditional earthly religion”. The order’s principles are a potent blend of new age spirituality (they time their harvests and medicine making to the cycles of the moon, and pray while they cook to “infuse healing and intent to our medicine”), environmentalism (“We think the plant is divine the way Mother Earth gave it to us”), progressive politics (asked whether she’s offended if someone drops her title and calls her “Kate”, Sister Kate responds: “It’s offensive that no banksters went to jail”), feminism (“Women can change this industry and make it a healing industry instead of a stoner industry”), and savvy business practices.

Sister Kate was looking for a “second sister” when a mutual friend arranged a phone call with Darcy Johnson. After just a thirty minute conversation, the 24-year-old from Washington state was ready to move to Merced and join the order. Sister Darcy had spent time in New Zealand working on an organic farm, and now, back in the States, was looking for a better way of life.

“This is my better,” Sister Darcy said.

The day after Merced’s ban on medical marijuana was passed, the sisters were preparing for battle. Sister Kate is planning to start a call-in campaigns across the Central Valley, urging growers and customers to flood city council members with phone calls every Friday until they come up with reasonable regulations.

Whatever happens, though, the Sisters of the Valley are answering to a higher authority. “We’re not accepting their ban,” said Sister Kate. “It’s against the will of the people, and that makes it unnatural and immoral.”

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California Punk Rock Fashion from the 1970’s 


Since the late 1970s, California has had a thriving regional punk rock movement. It primarily consists of (but is not limited to) bands from the Los Angeles, Alameda County, Orange County, Ventura County, San Francisco, and San Diego areas.

Pre-1976

Los Angeles had a very strong experimental rock scene in the early 1970s. Many figures from this earlier scene would play notable roles in the later punk scene. The experimental LA rock scene was centered around a club called the Rodney’s English Disco, run by Rodney Bingenheimer, who later, as a disc jockey for KROQ’s “Rodney on the Rock”, did much to promote LA punk bands.

In the mid-1970s, a wave of protopunk glam bands emerged from Los Angeles, including Shady Lady, Zolar X, Berlin Brats, Imperial Dogs, and most notably The Runaways.

1976–1980

Starting in 1976, following recent releases of recordings by punk bands such as the Ramones, The Sex Pistols, and The Damned, a number of punk bands formed in the Los Angeles area. Among these bands in L.A. were The Weirdos, The Germs, The Plugz, The Controllers, The Skulls, The Dils, Black Randy and the Metrosquad, Catholic Discipline, The Go-Go’s, The Screamers, The Dickies, X, The Zeros, The Alley Cats, Hal Negro and the Satintones which featured Masque nightclub owner Brendan Mullen who co-authored three books in the 2000s about the punk era in Los Angeles, and The Bags.

Many bands also formed in the San Francisco Bay Area; The Avengers, The Nuns, Mutants, Flipper, Negative Trend, The Offs, and the Dead Kennedys. California punk of this period was musically very eclectic, and the punk scene of the time included a number of bands whose sound strongly crossed over to Art/experimental Punk, new wave, synthpunk, Rockabilly, and hard rock.

In 1978 in Southern California, the first hardcore punk bands arose, including The Middle Class, Black Flag, Vicious Circle, and the Circle Jerks (in late 1978). Hardcore bands and fans tended to be younger than the art punks of the older LA scene and came mainly from the suburban parts of the Los Angeles area, especially the South Bay and Orange County and San Diego. This resulted in a rivalry between the older artsy “Hollywood” scene and the hardcore “suburban”, “surf punk”, or “beach punk” scene. Those in the “Hollywood” scene often disliked what they saw as the musical narrowness of hardcore and the violence associated with “suburban” punks (the South Bay and Orange County punk scenes had a particular reputation for violence), while the “suburban” punks looked down on what they perceived as the lack of intensity of older “Hollywood” bands (The Germs being a notable exception with lead singer Darby Crash) and the fashion consciousness of “Hollywood” punks. The Penelope Spheeris documentary The Decline of Western Civilization, shot in early 1979 and early 1980, documents the period when the older LA punk scene was being completely taken over by hardcore and features performances by bands from both scenes.  Decline was filmed in part at punk shows sponsored and promoted by David Ferguson, who in 1979, formed CD Presents, a recording label that would record and promote a number of pioneering groups from the California punk scene. Ferguson and CD Presents organized New Wave 1980, the first festival gathering and showcasing punk bands from all over the West Coast.

By 1979, hardcore had displaced the Hollywood scene and become the dominant expression called hardcore punk in both Northern and Southern California. By this time, many of the older punk bands had broken up or become relatively inactive. A few, such as The Go-Go’s, The Dickies, and X, went on to mainstream success (in some cases, X, almost abandoning punk entirely), while a few others, such as The Dickies, embraced hardcore completely.

The Crazed Father of Psychobilly Rock, the unparalleled Hasil Adkins

Hasil Adkins (April 29, 1937 – April 26, 2005) was an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His genres include rock and roll, country, blues and more commonly rockabill. He generally performed as a one-man band, playing guitar and drums at the same time.

Adkins grew up in poverty in the midst of the Depression, and his spirited lifestyle is reflected in his music. His songs explored an affinity for chicken, sexual intercourse and decapitation, and were isolated in obscurity until being unearthed in the 1980s. The newfound success secured him a cult following, spawned the Norton Records label, and helped usher in the genre known as Psychobilly.

 

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Adkins was born in Boone County, West Virginia on April 29, 1937, where he spent his entire life. He was the youngest of ten children of Wid Adkins, a coal miner, and Alice Adkins, raised in a tarpaper shack on property rented from a local coal company. Born at the time of the Great Depression, Adkins’ early life was stricken by poverty. His parents were unable to provide him shoes until he was four or five years old. Some reports say he attended school for a very brief time, as few as two days of first grade.

Adkins’ given name, Hasil, pronounced “Hassel”, was often mispronounced. One of his brothers was named Basil, similarly pronounced “Bassel”. Hasil dated a girl named Hazel, and was later given the nickname The Haze. As he explained it, the nickname came about “’cause Starlight records wanted something catchy and I didn’t have no middle name.”

Hasil Adkins loved to eat meat, specifically poultry, the subject of many of his songs. Following the release of 2000’s Poultry in Motion, Adkins toured with “dancing go-go chicken” dancers. His diet also reportedly consisted in as much as two gallons of coffee a day, and copious amounts of liquor and cigarettes.

 

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Adkins was said to have suffered from manic depression and insomnia among other mental illnesses. He never married.

On April 15, 2005, Adkins was deliberately run over in his front yard by a teenager on an ATV. Ten days later, on April 26, Adkins was found dead in his home.

Nicknamed “The Haze”, Adkins career began in the mid 1950s in an improvised studio in his home near Madison, West Virginia. There he put his vibrant Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis influences to work by recording scores of songs, beginning with the track “I’m Happy”. In a later interview he exclaimed “I couldn’t afford no drums so I just stomped my feet.” He eventually learned to use percussive instruments to accompany his guitar and vocals, which would become his hallmark sound.

Adkins is often cited as an important precursor to the Psychobilly genre. New York City’s The Cramps attribute much of their punk-psychobilly traits to Adkins, and covered “She Said” on their live album Smell of Female (1983). This helped usher Adkins into cult status as an underground musician, and inspired Cramps’ drummer Miriam Linna and her husband Billy Miller to found the Norton Records label. North Carolina psychobilly group Flat Duo Jets also covered Adkins with “Let Me Come In” on the 1993 lo-fi compilation Safari, which was released on Norton Records.

While music was his true passion, Adkins enjoyed a career in the film and television industry. He played himself as a street musician in 2004’s The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, partially narrated The Red’s Breakfast Experience and starred in a comedic horror film entitled Die You Zombie Bastards!. As a composer he helped score Hair High in 2004. Adkins was also the subject of the Julien Nitzberg documentary The Wild World of Hasil Adkins, distributed by Appalshop.

 

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The craziest song in his repertoire was ‘She Said’. The song tells the tale of the frightening aftermath of a drunken one-night stand:

Why’s don’t I tell you what it is?
I wen’ out last nigh’ and I got messed up
When I woke up this mornin’
Shoulda seen what I had inna bed wi’ me
She comes up at me outta the bed
Pull her hair down the eye
Looks to me like a dyin’ can of that commodity meat
And says
And says
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo ee ah ah!
Wooooeeeeahhh!

So this time we got waay over here
(Where?! Where?!)
I don’t know, since it was early dawn’s light
She jumped up outta the car
She pulled her hair down her eye
She looked to me like a dinosaur ’bout to jump outta that seat
She said
She said
She said
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo ee ah ah!
Wooooeeeeyahhhh!

So this time we got waaay over here
And then we went waay down here
We got all the way over
‘n that lady sound like this:
Oooooo! Oooooo!
She said
She said
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo ee ah ah!
Yoo ee ah ah!
Wooooaaahhyahh!

So this time we went waaay over there
Now things was really gettin’ goin’
Boilin’ up with the blisters
She sound like this:
Ooooo! Ooooo!
She jumped up outta the car
Pulled her hair down her eye
And do you know what she tol’ me?
Do you know what she try to tell me?
She said
Ooooo! It feel so goood!
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo woo eeeeeyahhhh!
Yah yah yah!
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo ee ah ah!
Woo ee ah ah!

The Cramps version:

Ded Moroz “Russian Santa”

Ded Moroz is a legendary figure similar to Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and Santa Claus who has his roots in Slavic paganism mythology. The tradition of Ded Moroz is mostly spread in East Slavic countries and is an important part of Russian culture. Although at the beginning of the Soviet era communists banned Ded Moroz he soon became an important part of the Soviet culture. The literal translation is “Grandfather Frost”.

Ded Moroz is depicted as bringing presents to well-mannered children, often delivering them in person in December days and secretly under the Christmas tree on night at 31 December on New Year’s Eve.

In East Slavic cultures, Ded Moroz is accompanied by Snegurochka his granddaughter and helper, who wears long silver-blue robes and a furry cap or a snowflake-like crown. She is a unique attribute of Ded Moroz, since similar characters in other cultures do not have a female companion. Often Snegurochka is called Nastenka (Nastya), the diminutive of Anastasia.