Shock-rock legend Alice Cooper has been attempting to kill himself on stage for the best part of fifty years now and I’m genuinely surprised he’s yet to succeed. Most of his shows feature at least one segment where Cooper is dragged off to be hanged, beheaded, electrocuted to death, etc. The stunts are dangerous, but Cooper seems comfortable with the idea that at least part of his audience is there to see if a mock execution becomes just a regular old execution. As he explained to EW:
“When I go to the circus and there’s a guy in a cage with 12 tigers, there’s always a chance that one of the tigers didn’t get the message. When you see a guy on a tight wire, you know that there may be a second you witness a tragedy. I always wanted that in our show: What they’re seeing could be the last night of Alice Cooper.”
There’s been a few shows that have come close to being that last night. In the early 80’s, Cooper hired magician James Randi to develop a stunt in which Cooper would be hanged in a set of gallows. The raspy-voiced performer would be secured to the rafters by a thick piano wire, preventing the usual neck snapping and/or strangulation that comes with hanging. The trick went down perfectly and was a huge hit with the crowd. A few years later, Cooper was still performing the trick at his shows. With the same wire.
“Everything has its stress limit and after doing so many shows, I never thought about changing the wire. You know, I figured it’ll last forever,” he explained.
Things (and Cooper) went down exactly as you might expect. He was performing the stunt during rehearsals for a live show at Wembley Stadium when the wire snapped. Fortunately the rock legend managed to literally save his neck by snapping his head back at the last moment. He got a nasty rope burn and a bruised arse from the fall, but he went on to finish the show.
In 1988 he had a second, more dangerous, accident during a rehearsal. This time the wire snapped and Cooper was literally left hanging. A roadie recognised that the performer’s kicking legs and blue face were perhaps a bit too realistic, and quickly came to his rescue.
Even two brushes with death aren’t enough to convince Cooper to abandon a stunt that resonates with his audiences. He still performs it to this day.
The sound of a freshly-shuffled deck of cards is already music to my ears, but Sean Oulashin does us one better by turning that hypnotic sound into a whole song. Not only is Sean a cardist and magician (whose work you can catch over on his Instagram page @notseano), but he also fancies himself as a music producer. Recently, he combined his two loves in a new hip hop single he calls The Sound of Cards II, which was recently brought to our attention thanks to a post from Art of Play:
Sean took the shuffling, slapping, and flicking sounds from manipulating a deck of cards, recorded them, then hooked them up to a sequencer where he turned them into a catchy new rhythm. I’m not going to lie, I’ve already listened to the sample video above at least a half-dozen times. That sound of shuffling cards is already intoxicating; throw in a synthesizer and some room-throbbing bass and I’m hooked.
If you want to support Sean and pick up the full track, you can download an mp3 over at his website Idlehands for $1. You can check out his Instagram page here. And you can follow Art of Play over on Instagram too, for more curated videos like the one above.
Lots of magicians use magic to spice up their own acts, but it’s not every day that you see a magician changing into a dozen different outfits while also singing a wall-thumping pop banger. But that’s exactly what Solange Kardinaly does in the video above. She’s a third-generation illusionist from Portugal, combining magic, quick change, and singing chops for a performance that’s unlike anything else. Check out the video above to see her in action, or visit her website for more info and links to her various social media channels.
There’s no question that a capella group Sound Collage is quite talented. And there’s no doubt that getting 11 different magic acts to step into frame, hit their mark, pull off a trick and get back out of frame in a matter of seconds is a massive accomplishment.
But continually covering up some those tricks with a barrage of words…yeah, we’re not so sure about that. Do we really need it spelled out that a black cloth has changed to polka dots, or that fire is…well, fire? I’m not convinced, but admittedly I’m more of a Postmodern Jukebox gal.