WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #60, MAY 2007. HERE’S THE NEWS FROM SAN FRANCISCO… ALL READERS ARE INVITED TO SEND CONTRIBUTIONS AND FEEDBACK!
1. Sat MAY 12, 6:30pm: RE/SEARCH presents the COUNTER CULTURE HOUR featuring a “classic” interview with BILLY HAWK, legendary 70s Punk Pioneer and founder of The OFFS. Cable Channel 29 (S.F. only), 6:30pm. See Counter Culture Hour shows online (free for now!) at:
by end of weekend we should have another episode up! We will continue to post two episodes per month until we’ve caught up with the two+ year backlog!
2. Sat May 12 11-5 PM: RE/Search at PAGAN PRIDE Celebration – come talk to us! Civic Center Park, Martin Luther King St, downtown Berkeley, CA
3. SAT MAY 12 & 19: Los Angeles: JOHANNA WENT Performances! Track 16 Gallery, 8pm, $18 RSVP 310-264-4678. Fabulous, rare! Reviews by Cousin Gail and Richard Modiano.
4. COMING EVENTS: Maker Faire May 19-20, JUNE 7-8 DIRKFEST, etc
5. Iggy Pop in San Francisco reviewed by Stephane von Stephane and Ben Terrall
6. What We’ve Been Doing, Reading, Listening To, etc: KUSF 30th Anniversary Party, James Howard Kunstler, etc
7. Recommended Links – thanks to: You Know Who You Are
9. PRANKS 2, Industrial Culture Handbook reviews
10. Feedback from Readers
OUR “AD” here: Out-of-print for years, RE/Search’s INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK is back! limited edition hardback (RE/Search’s edition 1000 copies – V. Vale will autograph on request), gorgeous, list price $40. glossy paper. Now $35 (plus $4 shipping U.S.; $15 Air Overseas). To order: firstname.lastname@example.org, call 415-362-1465, or try our order blank at www.http://www.researchpubs.com
Also, we have posted (2) Counter Culture Hour episodes at veoh.com – please check them out!
http://www.veoh.com/videos/v316630GefJq73s — Episode with Jonathan Moore (SRL) at Roboexotica
http://www.veoh.com/videos/v316647rCCRPG3H — Ryoichi Kurokawa, electronic filmmaker AND painter Masami Teraoka
**RE/Search is on MySpace: If you would like to be “our friend” – receive bulletins, etc, please Join Us!
http://www.myspace.com/108198017 – thanks, v. vale & cohorts
1. Sat MAY 12, 6:30pm: RE/SEARCH presents the COUNTER CULTURE HOUR featuring a “classic” interview with BILLY HAWK, legendary 70s Punk Pioneer and founder of The OFFS. Cable Channel 29 (S.F. only), 6:30 PM Cable Channel 29 (S.F. only). RE/Search’s Counter Culture Hour airs 2nd Sat of month, 6:30pm; set your “VCR.” Note that this show has aired previously. A few Counter Culture Hour episodes are available at www.veoh.com, as stated above.
2. Sat May 12 11-5 PM (tomorrow): RE/Search at 2007 PAGAN Festival, Civic Center Park, 2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley CA – come meet V. Vale and his co-editor on the RE/SearchMODERN PAGANS book, John Sulak. Info: www.paganfestival.org & www.thepaganalliance.org (510) 872-1188. A strange visual feast is promised, and the adjacent Farmers’ Market is nourishing and fun, too… Yes, other RE/Search books will be available, mostly discounted.
3. Sat MAY 12,& 19, 8PM: Los Angeles: JOHANNA WENT Performances! Also Exhibiton at Track 16 Gallery, $18 RSVP 310-264-4678. Bergamot Station #C1, 2525 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica CA 90404. Fabulous event; rare!
JOHANNA WENT reviews by Cousin Gail and Richard Modiano.
“When I was coming home to Huntington Beach from Johanna Went’s performance of Ablutions of a Nefarious Nature at Track 16 Gallery, Bergamot Station in Santa Monica tonight, the moon was rising like a huge gold coin being pushed through the sky over the horizon of the Bolsa Chica Bird Reserve. What an evening, what to say? What to think? What to see, hear? Costumes, masks, headdresses, wieners, fabrics, textiles, collages of materials and objects, chairs, props, vocal effects, sounds, strange music, rhythms, noise, sights, illusions, theater, dance, choreography, spins, convulsions, birds, animals, beasts, trees, eggs, brains, plastic chains, abomidable vegetables, a shiny blue sea dragon monster, blobs of cheetos gone awry, topiary shrubbery, surprises, suspense, strobe lights, glitter, thrills, chills, drills, spills, multitracked minds with exposed dildo brains, a five-foot smiling vagina with teeth and satin discharge, and a skull’s bleeding eyeballs shower.
“In a circle of fair-haired dollheads, the artist-priestess on her throne broke all the rules, shattered boundaries, no holds barred, unchained fantasy, with imagination unbound, sailed into frontiers unknown, freeing us the amazed, the grateful. Bravo! Thank you, Johanna, thank you.” – Cousin Gail
“The poet makes himself into a seer by a long, involved, and logical derangement of all the senses. Every kind of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself; he exhausts every possible poison so that only essence remains.” – Arthur Rimbaud in a letter to Paul Dememy.
“Johanna Went’s performance piece Ablutions of a Nefarious Nature seen at Track 16 Gallery in Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, California fulfills the poet’s project described by Rimbaud above. My colleague Cousin Gail has succinctly and accurately described the visceral response to the work, and I can only second her, but I’ll add a few after thoughts.
“Against a backdrop of gun-metal black plastic sheets suspended from the ceiling and using minimal re-found props, a few chairs, a fold away bed and other mundane items transformed into stand alone art works, Went and her co-performers played out the artist’s multiple and overlapping narratives of nature transformed, a virtual metonymy of the natural world. One gets a peek into her sub-conscious universe and gets to hear a fugue of inner voices realized with dazzling wit and genius; the five performers must have gone through fifty costume changes, and the costumes themselves are brilliantly evocative and beautifully crafted. And it’s all played out with a live musical score by Mark Wheaton. Not to mention the complexly choreographed entrances and exits of the other performers and the wonderful fission of audience interaction.
“There is also a show of photographs and memorabilia of Johanna’s previous performances covering the years 1976 to 1984. Readers living in the Southern California area have two more chances to see the performance at Track 16 on May 12 and May 19. Not to be missed.
“Performers: Johanna Went, Tom Murrin, Shelley Viall, Loren Hartman, Jessica Ruvalcaba. Directed by Carol McDowell and Johanna Went.” – Richard Modiano
4. COMING EVENTS:
() Sat May 12, 8pm, Community Music Center, 544 Capp St, S.F. (20-21st St): Our friend Joe Cunningham sings/plays guitar (with a piano-playing friend. $5. Hear them at http://www.myspace.com/twotalldrinks – they have a CD available too! Urban folk music and beyond…
() “Hello friends, I’m going to be performing in legendary LA performance art diva, Johanna Went’s new show this Saturday May 12th & 19th and would encourage you to check out this amazing spectacle of surreal costumery and marvelous mayhem if you happen to be in the LA area.” — Stephen Holman
() Maker Faire, May 19-20, San Mateo. This is obviously the hippest “faire” of the year. After studying the advance publicity, we can’t figure out exactly **WHEN** SRL will “do something,” so you are invited to try and find out! It won’t be a full-fledged performance, but a few machines will be “demonstrated” — SRL fans are hereby alerted… Monochrom will be there, too. Please, somebody send us a review for the next newsletter!
() JUNE 7 & 8: “DIRKFEST”- a two-day tribute to “Pope of Punk” Dirk Dirksen, benefiting Dirk’s surviving partner Damon Molloy, plus the preservation of Dirk’s rare video and Punk Memorabilia archive. Limited edition posters and T-Shirts are being contributed by Winston Smith, John Seabury, and Craig Pop Artist.
June 7, 7:30pm, SLIM’S, 333 11th St, San Francisco. Tickets $25: email@example.com or call 415/255-0333. Bands include Toiling Midgets, the Lewd, Pearl Harbor and the Explosions, Rubber City Rebels. Emcee is yours truly, V. Vale of RE/Search Publications and The Counter Culture Hour. Karl Hinz will screen films of Dirk Dirksen, etc.
June 8, 8pm, GREAT AMERICAN MUSIC HALL, 859 O’Farrell St, San Francisco. Tickets $25: http://www.gamh.com/tickets/ or contact Great American Music Hall. Emcee is Jello Biafra. Headlining will be the Avengers, followed by the SF Mutant All Stars with Naomi Ruth Eisenberg, The Contractions, The White Trash Debutantes – with the fabulous Jon Gries “Uncle Rico” of Napoleon Dynamite, No Alternative with Chip Kinman of the Dils and Rank and File, Dana Albert musician/poet and DJ Denise Demise.
Our Special Guest at DirkFest June 8th. will be Ness Aquino, the original owner of the Mabuhay Gardens restaurant.
Some background: Last November, Dirk Dirksen, the Punk Rock impresario who ran San Francisco’s Mabuhay Gardens “Fab Mab” nightclub and later the On Broadway during its heyday in the ’70s and ’80s, died in his sleep. This is a tribute to him organized by Kathy Peck, H.E.A.R. creator, and sponsored by numerous Bay Area creative organizations.
H.E.A.R. so far has helped raise over $4000 through an eBay auction of donated punk rock memorabilia and personal donations (http://www.hearnet.com/auction). The auction will recommence the week of June 7th and June 8th’s “Dirk Fest.” Part of the proceeds will help to pay for Dirk’s final resting place at the San Francisco Columbarium, and for the preservation of his rare archives of video tapes that need to be transferred before they disintegrate, photos to be scanned, and posters to be framed to preserve a part of San Francisco’s irreverent artistic and musical culture. A portion of the proceeds will go to H.E.A.R., which is administering the auction, producing Dirk Fest and taking donations for the Dirk Dirksen memorial fund under its 501c(3) status through an agreement with Dirksen’s family and partner Damon Molloy.
These will be two GREAT shows! See you there!
5. Stephane von Stephane and Ben Terrall on IGGY POP in San Francisco:
“Iggy Pop, Warfield S.F. 4/19/07
“Say it with me (in the voice of that Saturday Night Live character from the 90’s, the copy room guy): “Iggy, The Ig-ster, Popmeister Iggy, The Popster, The Ig Man, Jim-Jimmy, Jimmy Jewel, The Jimster, Iggy-Pop-op-polis, Iggy Pop… makin’ copies…” Iggy Pop was with Stooges and he was makin’ copies at the Warfield last Thursday night. Makin’ copies ain’t bad when the original was so good. The new songs… blended well with the old stuff. ‘T.V. Eye’ sounded great, as did ‘1969’. I really wanted to hear ‘Raw Power’ and ‘Search & Destroy’, but they stayed away from that material, being the stuff David Bowie originally produced. Iggy apparently disliked it enough to re-release a ‘non-Bowie’ version recently. My favorite stuff, and they didn’t play it! I hate it when that happens. But you gotta love it when you get bumped from your seat in the guest section because the Hell’s Angels needed the space. Figures Iggy would have something to do with the Hell’s Angels.
“The highlight of the evening for me was ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’. It is a flawless sexy rock song. A classic. And I have to say my all-time favorite rock moment was seeing Blondie cover that song with Iggy and Debbie doing it as a duet. This was well past Punk’s incubation period – it was in the early 90’s. Both artists already mature, but in fine form and in fine voice. It was in L.A. in some small club where there was a private party. My friend had Iggy sign one of her high-top Converse tennis shoes, which I thought was the perfect ‘pop’ item to have signed. A couple of years later I saw her wearing them and chided her, as if that shoe should be in a glass case. Yet, I had a football signed by Joe Montana that I kept in the trunk of my car and would pull out after a night of clubbing, send my friends out for long passes on Haight St. I thought nothing of using the ball as a ball, not coveting it because it had Joe’s signature. I waver between letting my inner fan come out and thinking I am too cool for that. I remember we all went to see Iggy play some bigger L.A. venue the next night and after the show, backstage, I couldn’t help asking him if I could touch the scars on his chest (my inner fan came out). He laughed and said yes. He could have been a jerk about it, but he was cool. I showed him my scar from crashing through a window as a kid (playing tag, I was ‘it’, chasing my cousin who slammed a glass-paned french door on my arm, 300 stitches!) I LOVE scars! Might be part of the reason I am so enamored of hockey – those guys got a lotta scars.
“At Thursday’s Iggy show there was a girl in a Detroit Motor City T-shirt (Iggy is from there) and a guy wearing a Red Wings jersey. I wanted to cross-check him right across the logo. One of the Warfield staff was wearing a Sharks jersey and I wanted to chat him up, but Iggy was too loud. Detroit may be the team my beloved San Jose Sharks play in the next round of the playoffs. Gotta start the animosity now. (It’s not enough Detroit knocked my Oakland A’s out of the second round last year.) Grrrr…Detroit…grrrrr!!!
“But back to Iggy. He is a classic Rock Star, an original. Much imitated and no one comes close. In fact, it seems to me that there aren’t many Originals out there anymore. America wants its American Idol-type performers: Bland and Safe. David Letterman joked the other night that he loves American Idol, because America is in danger of running out of celebrities, and Idol keeps comin’ up with new ones. Ha ha. I understand the obsession with celebrity in the old-fashioned sense, when stars were actually glamorous and charismatic. Ages ago my mom and her pals took a trip to L.A. to watch the stars walk the red carpet for Oscar night and somehow ended up at a restaurant where they were at a table next to Marilyn Monroe. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about: Glamor, charisma. Not American Idol-style. A real star Marilyn was. Being in the presence of a real star, you feel the intensity, even when you don’t know who the person is. When my girlfriend dragged me off to a book signing by Gloria Swanson I hadn’t yet seen Sunset Boulevard (now one of my favorite films). But that little old woman still had it…we only bought one copy of her book and she asked why we both didn’t want one. My girlfriend said, “Oh, we’re a couple, we’ll both read it.” Gloria looked at each one of us intently, back and forth staring into our eyes; finally she pronounced; “You’d better get… one… each.” My girlfriend thought Ms. Swanson wanted to sell more books, but I had the feeling that she could just tell that this relationship was not gonna last and we would each need a copy of her book if we both wanted to read it. I still have not read it but I will never forget how her ‘star’ presence shone through my attempt at cool detachment. “I am big….it’s the ‘pictures’ that got smaller!”
“Is it that Joe Montana really has the softest hand I ever shook? Did Gloria Swanson have the most intense eyes? (No, that was David Bowie.) Does Debbie have the softest lips in the known universe and Iggy have the coolest scars ever? Or is it just that they are all old-fashioned glamorous, charismatic ‘stars’ appealing to my inner fan? Yep, they are. And so much better than the new crop of ’15 minutes of fame’ Idol types out there now. The ‘pictures’ are getting way too small… “Makin’ copies….” – Stephane von Stephane
“ps Since rock n’ roll is still, thankfully, all about sex: If the sexy pale woman wearing the retro outfit with the little black hat who flirted with me at the Iggy show is reading this, please e-mail your # to RE/Search.”
And ANOTHER IGGY REPORT from BEN TERRALL:
“On April 21, at the second of two sold-out Stooges concerts in San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre, the illustrious J. and I began the evening by ditching our assigned balcony seats. I had bought them online but couldn’t imagine actually sitting in the middle of the balcony for Iggy Pop’s 60th birthday show, and, praise Cthulu, I didn’t have to, thanks to a friend that I now owe a Motorhead DVD. Though we had heard good things about the opening act Sistas in the Pit (and new Stooges bass player Mike Watt, a veteran of The Minutemen and Firehose, sings their praises in his web tour diaries), they had been replaced by a less than incendiary act on this night, besides which I was too obsessed with finagling our way into the downstairs to pay attention to any damn opening band.
“We were on the edge of stage right when Detroit’s finest hit their marks and started off the evening’s festivities with a ferocious version of “Loose,” just as they did at the free show that J. and I drove to L.A. to see at the tour’s opening a month earlier (a gift to fans who responded to an email request for testimonials of love for the Stooges, concert viewable online at http://music.yahoo.com/promo-31904706).
“Iggy was gyrating, bouncing and strutting madly around the stage from the get-go (in her rave review of the first SF show, the SF Chronicle’s Neva Chonin said he moved like “Gumby on crack”). Ron Asheton on guitar, his brother Scott on drums, Watt on bass and Steve MacKay on sax, backed the shirtless, sweat-soaked, ultrafit Iggy through a hefty set of older songs taken from the band’s eponymous 1969 debut and their follow-up record “Fun House,” including amazing hybrids of late ’60s hard rock and free jazz that put the wildly compelling interplay of MacKay’s rauchy tenor and the feedback-drenched leads of Ron Asheton (who Iggy later introduced as “the undefeated, undisputed, heavyweight champion of the world!”) to maximum effect. No material from “Raw Power” was covered (for insights into why that music didn’t make the cut, check out the long interview with Ron Asheton at http://www.furious.com/PERFECT/ronasheton.html), but the band performed raging versions of new songs from this year’s “The Weirdness,” along with several numbers from Iggy’s most recent solo outing, “Skull Ring.”
“Near the beginning of the show a large, moderately bohemian-looking fellow (an earring in each lobe and a shaved head) reacted with ridiculous macho outrage when a drunk woman with a mop of pink-violet dyed hair lurched into him. As the no-neck individual in question was told not to punch the young woman, I hoped his less than tolerant attitude toward good-natured Punk enthusiasm would not be evident in others in our vicinity. But the testosterone-damaged individual in question backed away from our section of what is commonly called the mosh pit, and the crowd turned into a roiling, lurching, happy beast that matched the surges of the music. Having dived into the audience by the fourth song, as the band blasted through the opening of “No Fun”, Iggy pulled a sizeable bunch of fans onto the stage, including Craig Pop Artist and Jello Biafra. I was only too happy to climb up and join the fray as the giddy fans bounced up and down in a sea of barely controlled chaos. As the song ended, Iggy bellowed “The Bay Area dancers, ladies and gentleman!” like a barker at a deranged rock and roll carnival, and added, “We spazz, we puke, we trip, we come down!” These days, Iggy’s formerly legendary intake of substances is restricted to a few glasses of wine savored at night’s end, but his checkered history gave the words resonance.
“As birthday balloons spilled from the ceiling and the crowd launched into an impromptu, ear-splitting shout-along of “Happy Birthday,” a fan passed up a T-shirt emblazoned with “Birthday Boy Iggy,” and though the legendary frontman stayed shirtless, he beamed in appreciation. The band looked pretty happy too.
“In the past few years I’ve seen several bands from the golden age of Punk Rock well into their thirtieth anniversary (The Damned, The Buzzcocks, Motorhead, The Cramps) who put on scorching shows that showed it was possible to age with an admirable lust for life, if not always gracefully (an overrated virtue, anyway). All of those bands were influenced by The Stooges, who are currently celebrating their 40th anniversary, or rather they would be if they were not too busy taking care of business giving longtime and newer fans performances that put younger bands to shame. Anyone who has ever been moved to screaming or shouting or leaping uncontrollably by a Stooges record should seriously consider trying like hell to see the refitted, restoked lean and mean Stooges machine in their 21st century incarnation. They certainly helped me forget the pathological, toxic late capitalist world we’re living in for a few hours, and that’s strong medicine.
“I’ll give the great Mike Watt the last word. In his web diary, Watt describes the end of the evening: “I (�) go give thanks to Ig for being such an inspiration to work behind, what a great job he put forth, but then again, he amazes me how he does this every gig. There is no one like him on the planet.” – BEN TERRALL
V. VALE ON IGGY POP:
As I wrote Nina Alter after the show, “NINA – hey, you rock – i saw you there in the ‘pit’ but couldn’t manage to say HI. I compared that show to: the instant Iggy hit the stage and summoned “us/his people” it’s like he took the whole crowd on a giant surfboard and didn’t stop for 90 minutes (or whatever it was) – there was a weird feeling of ‘unity’ – at least in the crowd where i was – haven’t felt that amazed for decades, except at an SRL show of course –
ps glad you got some photos and posted them too”
NINA wrote: “I went to the show last nite, despite also hating The Warfield. Security were weenies, but the pit was awesome: the one and only really fun I’ve ever been in, in California, where it’s a ton of fun with a ton of people, and everybody understands ‘pit ettiquette.’ Maybe it’s because the entire crowd was 30+. A lot of pot being smoked in the pit, tho – which totally grossed me out.
“Cool phonecam pic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ninavizz/465853957/ also see
“And, I got a fistfull of Iggy sweat, when he crowd-surfed at the end, and rode by right next to me. I offered to mother his child, too. He’s still contemplating that … nina :)”
() A few Iggy photos from thurs nite @ warfield, 4/19/07, etc: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ninavizz/465853957/ – this leads to more iggy photos in a “cluster” on “flickr”. see also http://music.yahoo.com/promo-31904706-222-20070415- – just “google” Iggy Pop photos” and you’ll probably find a lot more…
() For newsletter readers only: there is a very low-res video at www.veoh.com that MAY be of interest: Sat April 28 RE/Search flew to Los Angeles for a celebration of their Industrial Culture Handbook limited hardback release book party. Featured panel guests were GRAEME REVELL (SPK founder), JOHANNA WENT, performance artist extraordinaire, and surprise guest GERALD V. CASALE (DEVO founder). Photos by Search & Destroy photographer Kamera Zie were on the walls; and K.Z. herself was present. After the Beyond Baroque party (BTW, thanks to all our L.A. friends!), guests and others went to a post-party party hosted by Carlye Archibeque, where a spontaneous improvised performance of “Mongoloid” was captured by Marian Wallace on video (sung by Gerald V. Casale; piano by V. Vale). This video, as well as 3 other RE/Search Counter Culture Hour videos, can be viewed at: http://www.veoh.com/videos/v443333PHEfKjTG – and you have definitely never heard this version of “Mongoloid” before, despite all the alternative cover versions available out there…
6. What We’ve Been Doing, Listening To, Reading, Viewing, etc…
() A historical aside: V. Vale recently emceed the KUSF 30th Anniversary Celebration at Annie’s Social Club, Folsom/5th St, thanks to the vivacious and boudacious Noella Teele – (Noella, I owe you some photos from that epic evening). Wed, April 25, 8-2AM saw a stellar lineup of local stars (judging by merit, not necessarily fame): Pineapple Princess, Hank IV (drummer is behind the Hemlock Tavern, a kind of local treasure nightclub), and the nonpareil Polkacide – outrageousness personified plus uber-talent incarnate. They have produced some of my favorite live music in the world – no hyperbole, either. This was an amazing night, really – the kind of evening that makes you very glad to live in San Francisco.
() We saw Iggy Pop Thurs April 19 on his 60th birthday tour and can say that show was worth paying a thousand dollars for! The new songs blended with the original classics in a seamless tour-de-force that ended with “I’m Fried” and “Electric Chair” – a kind of homage to Andy Warhol. Opening band was the first All Black Woman Punk Trio we’ve ever seen: Sistas in the Pit – “MySpace” them. This may have been the best “rock” concert of the past 20 years…
After the show, Jello Biafra got us backstage (courtesy of Chick) and Mike Watt told us that for the first time during this tour he had successfully “channeled” Dave Alexander (Stooges’ original bassist, died 1975) for the whole concert (rather than doing his usual spectacular Mike Watt virtuoso act. Onstage, his eyes never left Iggy as he provided a true focused “accompaniment” to the rest of the band’s trance-inducing sonic hurricane.) For some reason, this show gave us HOPE. Is it “Hope Through Joy”? Is a Better World still possible? Hmmm…
() Our favorite recent “discovery” continues to be the visionary author JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER. (Our favorite authors/artists predict the future, accurately.) His latest novel, MAGGIE DARLING, is very funny, like Tom Wolfe at his best, yet why isn’t Kunstler a household word? It reminds us of what MAL SHARPE (featured in PRANKS, and PRANKS 2) recently said, “In the fifties it seemed like almost every jazz record that came out was good. But now, I think if a NEW Charlie Parker were to appear and put out a record, you’d never, ever find out about it.” A good novel is addicting — once you start it, you keep reading to find out what’s going to happen next. And Kunstler’s novel is not only amazingly well plotted, but is full of troubling characters that are unforgettable. (We leave it to you to identify his real-life targets by name.) Order MAGGIE DARLING from your local library and you will read a “meta”-novel – a work of art that transcends the “genre” by giving insights and raising questions that reverberate long after the initial experience… Kunstler is consistently sardonic, and there’s almost a laugh-out-loud moment on every page, if not every paragraph. He captures dialogue like a true photographic-memory genius, the way Kerouac supposedly was. Laughter is the best conveyer of enlightenment, in our opinion… Of course, we regard Kunstler’s GEOGRAPHY OF NOWHERE and THE LONG EMERGENCY as classics, now — funny, yet crammed with “THE TRUTH”… without the usual compromises, cowardice and fake “objectivity” displayed by authors kissing up to the New York corporate literary establishment… Kunstler’s books seem to be one solid, unending Zen Slap… For me, there is William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, Philip Lamantia, and now James Howard Kunstler… Currently we’re reading HOME FROM NOWHERE… When you find a writer you really like, then you have to read everything he’s written, and find every interview and article, too…
Here’s a mini-description of GEOGRAPHY OF NOWHERE, forwarded to us: “The Geography of Nowhere traces America’s evolution from a nation of Main Streets and coherent communities to a land where every place is like no place in particular, where the cities are dead zones and the countryside is a wasteland of cartoon architecture [in strip malls?] and parking lots. In elegant and often hilarious prose, Kunstler depicts our nation’s evolution from the Pilgrim settlements to the modern auto suburb in all its ghastliness. The Geography of Nowhere tallies up the huge economic, social, and spiritual costs that America is paying for its car-crazed lifestyle. It is also a wake-up call for citizens to reinvent the places where we live and work, to build communities that are once again worthy of our affection…”
() Our friend Scott Summerville took us to VILLAGE MUSIC (Mill Valley, downtown, East Blythedale St), one of the best vinyl record stores in the world, and we learned that it’s closing Sept 30. In the past, we got some of our favorite “Incredibly Strange Records” here. A salute to John Godard, founder, who cannot afford the rent increase, and a pox upon greedy landlords – enemies of artists and culture everywhere.
() Naut Humon recently brought to our office Ken Hollings, Biting Tongues founder and writer for The Wire, etc. He told us a great story of walking through London during a garbage strike, when bags of garbage were stacked up everywhere in the streets, and spotting some blonde hair peeking out of a garbage bag on top of a pile – an “Oh, NO!” moment…
() What we’ve read: Sue Grafton’s R Is for Ricochet – a recent thrift-store find in Saratoga Springs, New York. A good mystery reveals crime in high places, and how crime really works … in this case, money laundering through off-shore dummy companies, exposed…
() What we’ve seen: numerous MONTY PYTHON videos from decades ago – like all prophetic work, they seem like they could have been made yesterday…
() RECEIVED – thanks to everyone who sent us the below!
() Galatea’s Pants #20 – all about Lauren Eggert-Crowe’s trip to China – strange, poignant and always interesting. $3. available from 1203 E. Mabel St, Tucson AZ 85719. www.galateaspants.com
() Kim Cascone sent us one of the most beautiful packages ever: “Statistically Improbable Phrases” including a glossy all-black CD recorded Nov 3, 2006 at Instants Chavires, Paris, France. www.anechoicmedia.com – for a copy email firstname.lastname@example.org
() Dominika Oramus sent us her disturbing, intelligent book: Grave New World: The Decline of the West in the Fiction of J.G. Ballard, published by Univesity of Warsaw. For a copy write DORAMUS ul OSTROBRAMSKA, 84 m 129, 04-163 Warssawa, Poland. (I’m not sure how to send payment, or what the total cost is.)
() Greg Palast: Live from the Armed Madhouse. (CD) Funny, honest, provocative declamations from “The Sid Vicious of Journalism.” Available from www.alternativetentacles.com
() Hank IV: Third Person Shooter. (CD) Noir Hard Rock from San Francisco Band – www.hankiv.com, or www.hookorcrook.com – support local talent!
() Bob Koening: Abbey Lane. (CD) The Bill Owens of Folksingers, sings about suburbia and its angsts. (He should read The Geography of Nowhere). www.bobkoenigmusic.com – pob 143, Levittown, NY 11756. 516-796-3826
() Paul Spinrad’s THE VJ BOOK. My only experiencing of a VJ occurred at the Blind Tiger, a now-defunct club at Broadway and Powell, San Francisco. This book is filled with interviews – normally my favorite learning format – and includes a DVD with “easy-to-sample VJ software, mixable video clips,” etc which I did not experience. The back cover proclaims, “The VJ Book will become the bible for video artists for years to come.” Well, I’m not a Bill Viola fan, but I am a Craig Baldwin fan, and I really enjoyed his interview!
() PAN SONIC: KATODIVAIHE (CD) beautiful artwork, and “music/sound” which Pan Sonic’s fanbase embraces with the fervor of fanatics. There are times when I wish I could trade brains temporarily just so I could look at life from a radically different viewpoint. Does desire truly magnetize the universe? Is it true that only those who know can see? Well, what about hearing? Maybe it’s only those who know who can hear, too…
7. Recommended Links:
() from Bruno Richard: “Site selling books you might like”: http://timelesstheshop.blogspot.com/
() AUNT FRITZI ROCKS: I’m not a fan of the “new” Nancy as much as the older Zen version (considered by many cartoonists, including Bill Griffith, as the greatest strip of all time), but today was a real head twister – a reference to obscure 1972 Beach Boys album.
() “Google now has a web service called Google Earth, and it allows you to look at anywhere on earth to see what’s happening.” – Rick McGrath
() Hey Vale – Here is the myspace page for Harry Merry, the dutch guy my friend Tim and I saw at New Langton last night: http://www.myspace.com/harry9merry
You can listen to a few of his very catchy and very odd songs there. My favorite – “Rock And Roll Postman” – is not here, but “Appetite Is Satisfied With Every Bite” is especially good, and “Sharki Supermachine” is bizarre and great.
See you later, Chris
() See prank at http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article1325440.ece
() Experimental Radio station in London – internet feed. http://www.resonancefm.com/
() Joe Boyd’s recent article on 1966 Syd Barrett: http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/music/features/article2509105.ece
() From John Trubee, featured in the RE/Search PRANKS book: For audio downloads of incredibly beautiful music by JOHN TRUBEE & THE UGLY JANITORS OF AMERICA and bizarre JOHN TRUBEE prank phone call tracks go to: www.emusic.com and www.lostinthegrooves.com
() More hilarious hijinks courtesy of YouTube! Enjoy… – Stacey- http://youtube.com/watch?v=q4SZW31LlEQ
() “Another great reason to live in Spain” – sent by Lydia Lunch: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,480215,00.html
() holy water – great scam: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=3091218&page=1
() PRANK: JIFFI STOP – For more information, visit the public website:
() “French critic/filmmaker Jacques Rivette once said that any good film should be seen twice – Once for surprise and once for ravishment – and I have been deliberately vague about the details of Georges Bataille’s Story of the Eye’s content so that spectators can enjoy it as it was meant to be enjoyed. Some of them, including a few admirers of Andrew Repasky McElhinney’s previous feature films, may be outraged by the surprises in this one, but others, like this reviewer, will applaud it as the filmmaker’s best work yet, and a promise of great work to come.” – Bill Krohn, author of “The Complete Films of Luis Bunuel”
() “Everything has been figured out, except how to live.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
() “…more and more Americans, including those with good incomes, lived in soulless, artificial places that they despised, in homes that mocked their ideals about a good life, surrounded by laborsaving badgets that eliminated all the shared material enactments of marriage, until couples stayed together mainly because they liked the same TV shows.” – Maggie Darling, p. 6
“…Lawrence (“Call me Larry and you’re dead on Wall Street”) Hayward (rumored to be an Anglicized version of Havaarti) had materialized in New York from Cleveland (of all places) in the mid-1970s, having built an empire of suburban car washes, drugstores, and overnight dry cleaners. On Wall Street he proceeded to pile up a second-layer fortune — now estimated to be $27 billion — buying and selling enormous quantities of stock at tiny margins at absolutely the right moment. It was really the stupidest kind of scam imaginable, Maggie thought, and almost certainly rife with illegality, the way a Roquefort cheese is veined with blue mold. “But if it’s so stupid, then why can’t everyone else do it?” – Maggie Darling, p. 15
“The most unspeakable things happen every day in New York,” Maggie said. “Babies left to die in gym bags. Homeless people set afire just for the fun of it. Schoolgirls killed by stray bullets. Girlfriends dissected by their ex-lovers. The sheer volume of mayhem boggles the mind. Funny, though,” she halted in reflection, “it’s just a story in the newspaper until something happens to you.” – Maggie Darling, p. 83
9. Industrial Culture Handbook review
() [Re: Industrial Culture Handbook] “Over the years I’ve owned at least eight copies of this book but I always gave it away. I read in the May issue of THE WIRE magazine, which said you were going out of business” [not true – not yet, at least] “that the hardback Industrial Culture Handbook is available, so I’m ordering it. That book is so phenomenal, and let me thank you for doing it. It’s great — it’s a piece of art! Some albums are perfect, some movies are perfect, and that book is perfect.” — Roberto Munoz, musician, New York City [order from http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com, or call 415-362-1465.]
() PRANKS 2 Review
“Pranks 2 is a really great book!” — Andy Lyman, age 23, Chicago
10. Feedback from Readers:
() “Greetings Vale! – some items for the newsletter:
“Susan Tyrrell is A Legend. A hot, gritty, from the guts performer whose intense charisma has no equal in contemporary American Cinema. Her role in the bruising classic Fat City opposite Stacy Keach, is one of the most naked portraits of the
pitfalls of booze soaked losers ever commited to celluloid. Check out her erotic surrealistic paintings at http://susantyrrell.com/
“Bryan Lewis Saunders picks up where Steven Jesse Bernstein left off. Brutal, heartbreaking and hilarious his Stand Up Tragedy is the some of the best shit I’ve heard in a decade-if “OYSTER” doesn’t break your heart-while laughing your ass off-you’re dead. http://www.myspace.com/mrbrainsander
“Much like RESEARCH, YOUR FLESH MAGAZINE has been around for more than 25 years covering music, culture, literature. A fantastic expose on Cormac McCarthy written by John-Ivan Palmer is now up on line, as well as my article on The World Police and Fire Games which I discussed with Vale in PRANKS 2. http://www.yourfleshmag.com/artman/publish/
“I’ve expanded the gallery of my photomontages- please investigate
“Enjoy the orgy – Lydia Lunch”
() Steven Gray’s anti-war march photos can be found on his website: www.telepoetic.com, and click on MORE PHOTOS. The entire series is at www.pbase.com/lautreamont/antiwar_march
() “Vale, Hey, try reading my 2004 novel, Maggie Darling. It’s my ‘Martha Stewart’ novel — ignored by the reviewers. In many ways, my best book… the fucking nonsense of Modernism (capital “M”) is really biting us in the ass now. – Jim Kunstler “It’s All Good”
() “Your “Modern Primitives” book was the best book I’ve bought, so I looked up your website and found a couple more I thought would interest me.” – Joshua A.
() “Keep up the good work, your publications are “da bomb”.” – Ms. Terious, Chief Instigator, Denver Cacophony Society http://denver.cacophony.org
() Sent by ED HARDY: “April 30, the New York Times published an obituary on Mike Malone, with a great photo of him. It can be viewed online, google New York Times and go to Today’s NY Times, then Obituaries. They got some of the minor facts wrong but Rollo would be glad to be noticed in the nation’s premier newspaper, I’m sure.
“There will be a memorial at an art gallery in Chicago on Friday evening, May 25, with a display of any memorabilia anyone might like to contribute (copies please, no original work). Details will be posted on the web soon, the work will be up for the weekend following (May 26-27)
“Following is the obit I wrote over a week ago and submitted to the Times. There is also more about Michael on the Web.
“Michael Malone, Tattoo Artist, 64 – Michael A. “Rollo Banks” Malone died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his Chicago home April 14 after a long illness. His death was announced by his partner and caretaker, Chicago tattooer Keith Underwood. Mr. Malone was a key member of a small group of tattooers who transformed the ancient art into a sophisticated medium in the early 1970s, leading to its current enormous global popularity…”
() [Having ordered INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK hardback and signed J.G. BALLARD QUOTES flexibind] ” I’ve always enjoyed RE/Search because it’s an “ideas” publication. It’s not just a compendium of events and “cultural” figures; it’s a how-to-book if one chooses.” – Jim, writer/artist, Georgia
MAY 2007 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com
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