WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #63, August 2007.
1. Support RE/Search: Visit Our Office!…
2. Sat AUG 11, 6:30pm: RE/SEARCH presents the COUNTER CULTURE HOUR featuring San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman. Cable Channel 29 (S.F. only), 6:30pm. See Counter Culture Hour shows online (free for now!) at: http://www.veoh.com/videos/v316630GefJq73s
3. Our evening with GRINDERMAN, Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, Li Alin, et al.
4. Sun AUG 12, 2-5PM, S&M FLEA MARKET: meet V. Vale and Charles Gatewood!
5. What we’ve been doing…
6. Stephane von Stephane on the True Colors Tour
7. What We’ve Been Reading/What We’ve Been Sent: Larry “Ratso” Sloman’s Houdini book, et al
8. Recommended Links – thanks to: You Know Who You Are
10. Feedback from Readers
1. Support RE/Search: Visit Our Office!… Not only can you get your books autographed by V. Vale; you can experience the “legendary” office which only Europeans and Japanese ever seem to visit. You can pick up the new **DVD**: LOUDER FASTER SHORTER (classic 1978 punk documentary). Or the dazzling PRANKS 2 – a follow-up to our first PRANKS book – which isn’t in many stores. Or the J.G. Ballard Conversations and J.G. Ballard Quotes. Or some rare out-of-print books, only at our office! (Both J.G. Ballard and V. Vale have been “ill” – so don’t wait forever…)
Also, 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, glossy paper. Amazon list price $60. Order direct for Special price $35 (plus $6 shipping U.S.; $15 Air Overseas). To order: email@example.com, call 415-362-1465, or use our on-line order blank at www.http://www.researchpubs.com.
() Also, we have posted (4) Counter Culture Hour episodes at veoh.com – please check them out: http://www.veoh.com/videos/v316630GefJq73s
() Ryoichi Kurokawa, electronic filmmaker AND painter Masami Teraoka
http://www.veoh.com/videos/v316647rCCRPG3H – more on this site!
() V. Vale plays “Mongoloid” (piano) with Jerry Casale, DEVO, singing:
() 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. On our “blog” we’ve written about Cyclecide, Harry Potter, et al…
A discreet NOTE: RE/Search still seeks patrons or fiscal partners to publish the next title (a book involving never-before-published tapes and photos of William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, John Giorno, et al) and to bring back in print Incredibly Strange Films, Pranks, and Real Conversations 1. Non-profit.
2. Sat Aug 11, 6:30pm: RE/SEARCH presents The Counter Culture Hour featuring San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman, answering questions like “What is poetry?” and “What does ‘underground’ mean anymore?” Cable Channel 29 (S.F. only) RE/Search’s Counter Culture Hour airs 2nd Sat of month, 6:30pm; set your “VCR.” Please write us if you’re interested in collecting CCH episodes on DVD – we’ll burn one custom for you, for a donation… Note that this episode was mistakenly not aired last month, when originally announced…
3. Our evening with GRINDERMAN, Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, Li Alin, et al. To preface our “blog” about this evening, here’s Henry Rollins’ blog from his website, henryrollings.com: “07-26-07 San Francisco CA: Late. Did the panel in San Diego many hours ago. Went really well. Flew back up to SF. Went to see Grinderman tonight. Oh man. What a show. Just amazing. It�s the album times ten. Nick Cave in exceptional voice. Band just incredible. What a night. Blixa Bargeld came out to sing on the encore. I talked to the band after the show, Jello was there, good to see them all. Nick is great and having a good time with the band. There�s a new Bad Seeds album coming out in Feb. Very inspiring night. Can�t wait to see them again tomorrow night at Slim�s. My old pal Dawn [Holiday] is putting on both shows. So great to see her again, I have done a lot of shows with her.”
Here’s V. Vale’s blog (part of it) on talking with Nick Cave, Jello Biafra, Nick Cave, Martyn P. Casey, Warren Ellis, and Li Alin, after the GRINDERMAN SHOW at Slim’s, 7-27-07. We had just seen, on the same stage, Nick Cave singing, with Jello Biafra and Henry Rollins as his back-up singers! Now we were trying to get backstage to meet the band, etc:
“We called the road manager Ton on his cell phone and he came downstairs – I was glad that he was older, intellectual-looking in glasses, wearing a red T-shirt: “Who are you? Oh, right; let me check if it’s okay to let you in.” I and my two companions, my wife Marian Wallace and our French Canadian singer-songwriter pal Li Alin, just stood there peering into a dark suite of little rooms, until Ton suddenly prompted us, “Go on in!”
“There sitting on the corner of a couch was Nick Cave. In 1980, I had been the first American hired to help launch Rough Trade USA (Rough Trade, a U.K. store and record label, had been stocking my punk tabloid “Search & Destroy” since its very beginning in June, 1977). I had rented a storefront in North Beach on Grant at Green Streets, a block from where I lived, and had set up the retail and wholesale operation, with help from Allan Sturdy (a white Rastifarian; and “Peter and Sue,” seemingly always hunched over canary-yellow bookkeeping sheets, presided over by the tall, rail-thin founder, Geoff Travis). We started out being stocked by imports from around the world, and this little brown and yellow (?) color sleeve 45 came in from Australia, from a band called the “Birthday Party.” It was obvious this band was important and original; the first thing you noticed was the stentorian, passionate vocals… I’d been wanting to meet the singer Nick Cave ever since, but maybe fate or karma (are these truly valid concepts?!) did not permit until now…
“I introduced myself and my companions, and then squatted down in the corner next to the sofa and gave him three RE/Search books: J.G. Ballard Conversations, J.G. Ballard Quotes, and Pranks 2,saying, “Jello Biafra’s in this one.” Nick Cave immediately started thumbing through the Pranks 2 book, talking meanwhile: “I had a roommate (or was it a friend?), ___, who had almost all of your books, and I would read them…” I said, “Well, they’re probably hard to get in Australia.” Li Alin quickly gave her CD, ALL IN (Asphodel Records) to Nick…
“As if on cue, Jello Biafra entered the room with about a dozen CDs in his hand, and Nick immediately thanked him for singing back-up vocals during the encore. Biafra said, “Well, I wasn’t sure if I really knew what I was doing, so I watched carefully Henry Rollins, reading his lips, and tried to do what he was doing.” Nick said, “It was great – couldn’t have done it without you!” (or something to that effect). There was some reminiscence about earlier Bad Seeds or Birthday Party concerts Biafra had attended…
“Biafra started talking to Nick, “Have you read my interview in “Incredibly Strange Music, Volume Two”?” “No.” “Have you ever heard of Wesley Willis?” “No.” I said, “He’s a kind of id–t savant,” and Biafra countered “No, he wasn’t an id–t; he knew what he was doing. He put out something like fifty albums in seven years, and he was even on Rick Rubin’s label for a while. He was this big 6’3” black man who weighed 450 pounds, and he made his living selling paintings he did, on the street. Biafra started singing the lyrics to “Rock and Roll McDonalds,” adding that almost all of his songs ended with a line from a commercial, and that almost every person he met, he wrote a song about him. But, Wesley Willis knew his song lyrics, although he often had the lyrics in front of him on the Casio electronic keyboard he played. One time, he sang a song perfectly even though he had another song’s lyrics in front of him – that kind of proved he had his song lyrics all memorized.
“Biafra told about making a TV announcer type recording and that Ice-T had used it on a record… and that once, in the wrong part of L.A., some heavy street “dudes” confronted him and he talked his way out of it by saying, “You’ve heard that Ice-T record: [mimics his pitch] and they then said, “Oh…” and let him go.
“Biafra talked about needing to have a sheet of paper in front of him while doing a certain Spoken Word segment, and that even though he must have had it memorized by now, he STILL has the sheet of paper in front of him on-stage. Whereupon Nick Cave said that he liked having lyrics in front of him on a keyboard – what made it “okay” was he read that “Nina Simone often had the lyrics in front of her on the piano.” He said it really helped him stay on track because … sometimes it’s **hard** to remember all the lyrics to a song. (You wouldn’t have thought that, judging by all the songs he bellowed straight out, forcefully, possessed, with full conviction, at the audience, while playing guitar.)
“Suddenly Henry Rollins was there in the room – he went over and shook Nick Cave’s hand, and Nick thanked him generously for singing back-up on stage. I told Henry, “I can’t believe you’re here; were you in town already?” and he said, “I came up for THIS. But I’m not gonna get much sleep tonight – in about three-and-a-half hours I have to hop on a plane and go down to ComiCon.” I said, “In San Diego?” and he said, “Yes. I really like that. They invited me to show up to promote [some film or TV program?] and I really liked it. There are all these geeks walking around – you’ll see about 6 or 7 guys dressed up like Darth Vader – and in their own towns these guys are outcasts, but at ComiCon they’re, like, “cool” and considered great.”
“I said, “Henry, before you and I both die, can you try to be on my monthly cable TV show, “The Counter Culture Hour”? (I’d asked him before, on an earlier trip to San Francisco, but he hadn’t had time.) He was glancing at the RE/Search books sitting next to Nick Cave and I said, “I’ll send you these – are you still at the same email and address?” He said, “Don’t send ’em to me; I’m only going to be home in L.A. for about 10 days during the next three months.” I’m going to be in San Francisco around November 16, and I’ll get ’em from you then in person and then we can catch up, with what’s been happening with RE/Search. If I get in early, then I’ll come over and we’ll tape [an interview].” I said, “Yes … “Smile, You’re Traveling” [the name of a Henry Rollins travel memoir] and told him that I really liked it: “The cover of that book is really beautiful; what a beautiful design–” and he said, “I took the photo. You really HAVE to go to Egypt; I’ve been there two times. When you see those pyramids … they’re at least twice as big as you had imagined they were … it’s amazing. You sit there and look at them … Really makes you THINK… Now Cairo – that’s kind of dodgy” [was that the word he used?] “right now” [what with the occasional bombings of cafes where tourists congregate]. “But, the pyramids… you HAVE to go there…” I didn’t have time to tell him that one of the big philosophical influences in my life has been the husband-wife Egyptologist team “R.A. and Isha Schwaller de Lubicz”…
“While talking to Nick Cave I missed a conversation between Jello Biafra and Henry Rollins talking about going to Iran: “If you’re American, you can only go as part of an official tour group. It’s heavy.” Biafra seemed very interested in going to that area (personally, that’s the LAST place I’d want to visit, at least, now… even though I know it’s the cradle of civilization as we know it – in the West, at least)… But Biafra explained WHY: “I’m hoping that after the Shah was deposed [?], there were some Iranian “psych” (psychedelic) bands, like those psych bands from Lebanon (?) I discovered…”
“In another room, the bass player, Martyn P. Casey, told me about a cassette tape two Canadians had given him in Berlin; it had three songs, but multiple versions of each by various artists: “Exotica,” “Caravan,” and one other that sounded Middle Eastern (was it “Miserlou?”). He asked, “Did you really meet Martin Denny?” and I told him that Martin Denny told me that I had single-handedly “revived his career” (with the interview in Incredibly Strange Music, Volume One – then people, on an international level, started writing him, offering him recording and licensing deals, etc) and he had been my daughter’s godfather.
“In the next room I had a brief conversation with the black-haired, heavily bearded [violinist, guitarist] Warren Ellis, who told me how important “Modern Primitives” had been to him – how much he had read it, and other RE/Search books. We agreed it was kind of amazing how books – and records – go all over the world and find interesting or like-minded people, and have an influence – in the best case, a kind of “mutual” influence…
“It was time to leave Slim’s and go to an after-show party at Bourbon & Branch. We recruited Biafra and Anne-Marie and walked back to our car. Upon arriving, we were herded upstairs (this was confusing!) to a tiny room where we crowded into a kind of balcony. I crouched on the floor next to Nick; then Li Alin gave me a seat on a sofa across from Nick. Nick offered Biafra and me the last of a pizza and we demolished it – well, it was 2 AM. I talked about the Canadian documentary featuring Edward Burtynsky titled “Manufactured Landscapes,” which I considered to be a kind of new genre: “documentary horror films.” The opening seemingly endless tracking shot depicts long rows of workers, mostly young (under 30?) assembling widgets – row after row after row – this must be the largest factory in the world, at least a mile long of these rows with workers on both sides who sometimes looked up at the camera – never with a smile.
“The largest dam in the world was being built, displacing 1,100,000 people who were hired to demolish, without any heavy equipment, their own houses and buildings. Biafra said that scientists have claimed that even though this dam will generate a lot of electrical power, the water is already filling up with sludge and will soon be just sludge, incapable of flowing like water…
“I described the mile-deep tin mine carved out of the earth, the vast coal field which looked black and positively poisonous…”Manufactured Landscapes” indeed – the word “landscape” used to mainly mean green fields, forests, nature scenes…
“Martyn, seated to my left, started talking about his favorite J.G. Ballard books: the autobiographies, Empire of the Sun and Kindness of Women, which he liked even better than Empire – i completely agreed that those were my favorite books, and that I liked “Kindness” even more than “Empire.” But I also liked the early “poetic” books like The Drowned World and The Crystal World. Martyn liked High Rise a lot – he said it was coming true in the East End of London where high rises were built called Gherkin (?). Martyn told me to check out a very interesting musician, who had a lot of RE/Search books, namedDAVE GRANEY… (He started doing music in the early ’80s…)
“Biafra asked Nick if there were any other good Australian movies (besides MAD MAX, of course) and he named WAKE IN FRIGHT. Martyn said that the **book** was good, too. Nick said that the very first feature film ever made, was made in Australia, and it featured the Australian bandit-legend Ned Kelly.
“I said that I had read a lot of mysteries lately, including all 30 (or so) books by Arthur Upfield, which were written so beautifully (describing the Australian landscape) that it made me want to go there. Biafra said, “You MUST go there!” I said that the series featured a detective who was half white and half aboriginal, and conveyed (allegedly) a lot of the wisdom of the “aborigine.” I said that the author was white, however… Here Martyn (or was it Nick?) recommended I read a book by George Johnston titled “My Brother Jack.”
“Nick recommended reading the James Lee Burke mystery series: the main character, ___ is great. And his descriptive writing of New Orleans and Louisiana is so beautiful; poetic. He wrote this great description of New Iberia, Louisiana, and “we were on tour and I saw it on a map so I went there, and there was, like, **nothing there!” I said that maybe New Iberia (hadn’t that been some kind of idealistic communal venture 200 years ago? I’d better google it!) had been “nice” 20 or 30 years ago…
“Nick also asked if I had read the Derek Raymond mysteries – I said No, and he recommended the “Factory” series. We seemed to agree that not many British mystery writers were “good.”
“Finally, we were kicked out of the upper room at the speakeasy, and down in the Library Room we still talked… I asked Nick what a certain “rhythm” instrument he was playing was, and he said “sleigh bells” – when I went to write that down, he said, spelling it out, “It’s slay-bells“! He said that normally you just shake it with one hand, but he invented the two handed circular forward-rolling motion, telling me to “Not rip it off!” – HE had invented that! I said that it seemed easy enough so that I could play a musical instrument, and Li Alin said, “Vale plays piano really well”…
“Near the evening’s end I asked Marian to take a group shot of us (Nick, Biafra, me, Anne-Marie, Naut Humon from RML, Li Alin) and later I took a shot of Nick with Marian. The drummer, Jim Sclavunos, came up to talk to Nick, and I took a photo of him in his pink suit with white shoes – hadn’t realized he was so tall. Later, Nick told me, “You know, HE reads a lot, too…”
“In the ever-procrastinating attempt to leave, Biafra and Anne-Marie disappeared. Marian and I ran outside to find them, then got the car and drove around looking everywhere. As we pulled up in front of the speakeasy, Nick Cave appeared on the sidewalk and I pulled up and asked him if he wanted a ride. He asked the people he was with, and said, “Sure” – jumped into our car and we drove him to his hotel. When we double-parked to let him out, who should we see but all the rest of the Grinderman “crew” sitting around a coffee table through the large picture window – they waved to us. Nick had been wearing “shades” (sunglasses after dark) and he got out and (“You got my number, right?” “Yes, I have your email.”) I promised to email him…” Someday, we’ll come up to speed and post the photos from this night on our website…
4. Sun AUG 12, 2-5PM, S&M FLEA MARKET: meet V. Vale and Charles Gatewood! On Mission St/bet. 5th-6th Sts – you’ll see the crowd! A very “San Francisco” event, trying to be low-profile, but …
5. What we’ve been doing: V. Vale wrote an introduction to a forthcoming book about Incredibly Strange Wrestling…
6. STEPHANE VON STEPHANE: True Colors Tour Review
“At the outdoor Greek Theatre in Berkeley for Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Tour: With a daylight start time and moving on into a perfect evening, people removed sunglasses and donned light jackets. Not Live!Rude!Girl! though, who ‘runs hot’, shuns jackets, and wears her sunglasses at night. That Neva Chonin – this would be her last review for the San Francisco Chronicle which, a week earlier had shown their true colors by letting her go. Economic or political reasons? We can only guess. But thanks to the Chron we had good seats to this sold out gig benefiting several gay rights organizations. And thanks to Deborah Harry we got to hang backstage, side-stage and with the celebs.
“We met Cyndi, and Rosie O’Donnell (who did stand-up between acts) and even, incongruously, a clown. The clown was not in costume, but there were gigantic colorful beach balls batted out to the crowd at one point. The crowd was already in a festive mood by the time we got there, missing Dresden Dolls and the Cliks. Dresden Dolls does some sort of cabaret style act and the Cliks are an almost all girl (in the singer’s case, a used-to-be girl) punk-pop band…
“Ms. Harry has my heart, and her siren songs called to me as always: “French Kissin’ in the U.S.A.” was superb. She had a new band along and concentrated on new songs from her soon-to-be-released “Necessary Evil” (produced by Super Buddha, who did the Scissor Sisters.) And thankfully, most of the new material is good or super good. She told me later that she is just kind of tired of doing Blondie songs, which is understandable. BUT dammit, we LOVE Blondie songs. She also said that the title, “Necessary Evil” does not refer to money, but to relationships… hmmm. Maybe the presence of that clown was fitting after all… (damned metaphysical metaphors) sing it with me: “But where are the clowns?…quick, send in the clowns…don’t bother, they’re here…” [or, if you are under 30, google it] “Isn’t it rich?, isn’t it queer?” Why yes I do believe it is, thank you Stephen Sondheim.
“Margaret Cho’s intermission comedy was followed by Brit synth-poppers Erasure. I missed most of their set due to hanging backstage, but what I heard sounded fabulous and brought back bittersweet 80’s memories. “Oh, l’amour, you broke my
heart and now I’m aching for you. Mon amour, what’s a boy in love supposed to do?!!”… Then Cyndi Lauper played and did all the old great 80’s hits. (Read Neva’s review from SFGate.com, she took notes. Go to DeborahHarry.com for a link). We were on the side of the stage by then; the sound was not so great, but the view was amazing… People were on their feet for a lot of Cyndi’s set, particularly the encore which featured members of all the other acts pitching in. Rosie O’Donnell even played drums (her mamma said only boys can play drums, so Rosie decided to learn to prove her wrong. You Go Girl!!) I noticed that instead of lighters now, for the encore demand, people are using their cell phones to provide light… eerily effective.
“After the show, we met Rosie and Cyndi. Rosie told me she has always loved Blondie and “In this crazy little world of celeb-reality we live in, we are so used to seeing each others’ images all over the place, that we feel we know people who
we really don’t know… but I finally got to meet Debbie and I just love her.” I knew exactly what she meant, as I had just seen her (Rosie) on my Comcast home page that morning along with a multitude of other celebs and then here she is, an inch away – truly unreal. I have an vague uneasy feeling that I then pulled a Joan Rivers on-the-red-carpet stunt and made a bee-line for Cyndi Lauper, as if I was just changing channels. Surreal. I think what actually happened was I introduced Rosie to Neva and it was just a tag team passing of the baton, so to speak.
“And speaking of Neva (Live!Rude!Girl!) Chonin, I am really sad that there is no more column in the Chronicle to look forward to every Sunday. Sometimes I would buy the early edition on Saturday night because I just could not wait – now I won’t buy the Chronicle at all. As of this writing Neva is planning to travel the globe, and will be corresponding from abroad. Check out her MySpace page for her blog at: http://blog.myspace.com/liverudegirl if you miss her as much as I do. – Stephane von Stephane”
7. What We’ve Been Reading/What We’ve Been Sent:
() the new edition of Revolutionary Letters by legendary “Beat” poet Diane di Prima. The last 23 of the numbered letters are new since the final City Lights edition, if that gives you a handle on what to look at… Sometimes a writer’s letters are equal to any “official” work the writer produces – we’re using as a “standard” the phrase “I.P.” (signifies “Inspiration Potential”). Often a writer will “tell the truth” in a letter to another person, and definitely in a conversation, which is why we like interviews so much. It’s brave of Last Gasp to publish this “Beat” historical classic, and we hope the additional new material helps this book find an expanded new audience! Support Diane di Prima, one of our last first-generation “Beat” ancestors… www.lastgasp.com
() DOURY (Mollusk 04 / Pascal Doury est Mort 05). encyclopedia de Bongo�t, in collaboration with Timeless. ISBN 2-9524520-3-2 84 pages, 19×27 cm. Limited edition 1000 ex. Bilingual English-French. Price: 17 Euros + shipping. “I just wish more people would see his stuff.” – Gary Panter “What I always admired about his work was how that contained craft was used to express the total explosion.” – Art Spiegelman – Features unpublished drawings, paintings, illustrations and skeetchbooks by French artist Pascal Doury (1956-2001), as well as some exclusives texts, interviews and discussions (Art Spiegelman, Gary Panter, Bruno Richard, Alin Avila, Xavier Laradji, Vincent Ravalec, Xavier-Gilles N�ret and Olivia Clavel.) 100 copies of this issue will form a special numbered edition and will contain a limited silkscreen, two dvds and the facsimile of an original 90 pages unpublished sketchbook. (for a copy, email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) Also, go to:
() “beautiful” dark art from www.kevinevans.com – nota bene!
() Sangs Divers: La Haine C’est De L’Amour Qui A Gele�. Absolutely beautiful, limited hardback art book featuring our pal BRUNO RICHARD‘s art, from L’Art Penultieme/EPAC, O&H Prieur, 12 rue Igor Stravinsky, 76620 Le Havre, France. You can write email@example.com
() The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero. This is a fascinating, incredibly well-researched study of “two magicians” in one, written by our pal “Ratso” (Larry Sloman) … It’s at your local library! Ratso also wrote “STEAL THIS DREAM – Abbie Hoffman and the Countercultural Revolution in America” – a revolution which never ends… Written in the “Edie” style, this book arranges quotes from dozens of people who “knew” Abbie, to form a linear biography…
() From our pal ANDY LYMAN: “If you’re in the market for some thrilling pop-sci reading I highly recommend “Decoding the Universe” by Charles Schiefe. I’ve been glued to it for the past couple days. It’s all about information theory, and how it’s making great strides to unify all the disparate loose ends of physics. It’s incredibly illuminating in a number of ways. I have a much more solid understanding of entropy, energy, bolean logic, and computing than ever before… Also, Have you ever read about Claude Shannon? … He’s quite an interesting fellow. Anyway, good evening to all you over at Rancho RE/Search. Until the future, Andy”
() To Claudia R. in Italy: Thank you very much for the gifts! Ran Xerox by Tanino Liberatore, Stefano Tamburini, www.grifoedizioni.com. The Second Book of Saudelli, Glittering Images edizioni d’essai, Firenzi. Google “Saudelli” or “Ran Xerox” to find out more…
8. RECOMMENDED LINKS – thanks to our friend Phil G, James McN-, & Others who sent us the below:
() A sneak peek at Dario Argento‘s THE MOTHER OF TEARS – The 3rd chapter of the trilogy (following SUSPIRIA and INFERNO) is coming! We can’t wait! Photos, credits, etc at http://it.movies.yahoo.com/l/la-terza-madre/index-1763732.html
() This comment says it all: “A guy walks up to me and asks,’What’s Punk?’ So I kick over a garbage can and say ‘That’s punk!’ So he kicks over a garbage can and says, ‘That’s Punk?’, and I say ‘No, that’s trendy!’ – Billie Joe Armstrong”
() this has been posted already, no? – the sound of young america – November 17th, 2006 — Zines Guests V. Vale and Josh Karp. V. Vale is the legendary underground publisher behind Re/Search Publications, a series of zine-like books on the counter-culture… link straight to the audio—
() “Extremely early Rolling Stones with Brian Jones kicking a-s. Jones plays three instruments and does backup vocals. Keith looks like a teenage punk rocker in 1964! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsEn-irHVw4
Also check this guy out (Yuri Landman) his band is called Avec-Assance, they are Dutch: I found out about him on wikipedia when I was looking up DIY PEOPLE. He makes cool noise instruments with whacked out pickup placements and orientation and plays a good looking show. I would like them to come here.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Landman>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Landman – His work is really good. It sounds very much like early FALL and PiL stuff! He is current. You should contact him for new ideas and new artists. He certainly fits the credentials for originality. Here is one of three videos by them on youtube: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpiVRQgf0g4>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpiVRQgf0g4 He has the three videos here: http://www.youtube.com/user/yurilandman ” – jpm
() ImpeachBush.org – big March in Washington, D.C., Sept 15
() “Totally funny video. Overproduced song, but dead-on commentary:” <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYwlRH7R6DE>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYwlRH7R6DE
() The Slits just played San Francisco… Check out: YouTube – The Slits at Vortex Club (1977) – <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKR8NMGEt24>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKR8NMGEt24
() Our friend Mary Lawler of THE URGE announces she has songs on her MySpace page: myspace/marylawler
() Photographer Steven Gray writes that he has a new song called “All Gone.” If it doesn’t open, it can also be found at www.myspace.com/somahexuals (click on “Profile” and then on “All Gone”), recorded at Little Robot Productions. http://www.telepoetic.com
() Steve Wozniak discusses many of his famous pranks – very funny – http://mondoglobo.net/neofiles/show-83-steve-wozniak-talks-about-his-favorite-pranks/
() “you might find this vaguely interesting – Graham Rae”: http://www.filmthreat.com/index.php?section=features&Id=1985
() sent by Cousin Gail: pavement drawing http://users.skynet.be/J.Beever/lobster.html
() sent by Blake R: “GIANT TATIANA – Right now at the Berkeley Botanical Garden you can see “Tatiana”. A Titan Aram indigenous to Sumatra, this is the giant of the flower world. The Garden has been attempting to bud its small stock of seeds since 1990 and finally a bloom has appeared. Tatiana was 2-1/2 feet tall 2 weeks ago, now measures over 70 inches — almost 6 feet high — and is ready to burst open any day. Once unfurled, the bloom apparently lasts about 2 weeks. In order to attract its fly pollinators, the petals are a velvety deep burgundy, meat-colored, and smell of rotting flesh during the first several hours. Oh, and once blossomed, the stamen is said to radiate at about 90 degrees. There are photos on the Garden’s web-site updated daily for anybody who can’t make it out to Berkeley – Talk about flower power…”
() “I’ve been following your [blogs on MySpace] about the Harry Potter mass hysteria and can’t help thinking about the whole Mayan calendar/news cycle thing. Funny world. Anyway, a friend sent me this email and I had to pass it on to you: “Overheard this at dinner. I was eating a large family of murdered shrimp bodies at this seafood death-camp I just found. In the booth behind me I overheard a guy say, “She’s the Beatles of novels.” … WHO?? … And then I heard it, the word “magic.” And then I heard “Potter.” Jesus F—ing Christ. So which one of the Harry Potter books is “Revolver,” because I really like that album. It’s a great children’s album. Obviously “Norwegian Wood” is a little too “adult” for kids, but “Tomorrow Never Knows” keeps them from asking their parents to give them Twix bars. “Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream. Then it’s not dying.”? – Michael” Okay, that’s all. Keep up the good work and thanks for the add, as the kids like to say. – Dave Rice”
() “DEVOLUTION: George Dyson, in his book Darwin Among the Machines, quotes the British biologist J. B. S. Haldane: “Evolution will take its course. And that course has generally been downward. The majority of species have degenerated and become extinct, or, what is perhaps worse, gradually lost many of their functions. The ancestors of oysters and barnacles had heads. Snakes have lost their limbs and ostriches and penguins their power of flight. Man may just as easily lose his intelligence.” The automation of physical labor did not make our muscles bigger. Are we to assume that the automation of mental labor will make our brains smarter?”
() J.G. BALLARD: “A number of experiences, particularly during my childhood in the Far East during the Second World War, encouraged me to regard the human race as potentially dangerous. People brought up in the comfortable suburbs of west Europe and North America tend to think that human beings are at heart governed by a kind of enlightened self-interest; that they are thoughtful and humane above all. I’m not sure that is true. If you look at the behavior of, say, the warring factions in Iraq at the moment with their endless suicide bombings and terrible carnage, or the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, where the most incredible brutality and ethnic cleansing took place, or if you go back to the Second World War in Europe, when tens of millions died in the most brutal way, I’m not convinced that human beings can be trusted beyond a certain point. I think they are quite capable in the right, or rather the wrong, circumstances of behaving irrationally…” – sent by Nick
() DAVID LYNCH (from his MySpace page): “Absurdity is what I like most in life, and there’s humor in struggling in ignorance. If you saw a man repeatedly running into a wall until he was a bloody pulp, after a while it would make you laugh because it becomes absurd. … The concept of absurdity is something I’m attracted to.”
“It’s better not to know so much about what things mean or how they might be interpreted or you’ll be too afraid to let things keep happening. ‘Psychology’ destroys the mystery, this kind of magic quality. It can be reduced to certain neuroses or certain things, and since it is now named and defined, it’s lost its mystery and the potential for a vast, infinite experience.”
10. Feedback from Readers:
() “Long before T-shirts emblazoned with the sequined likenesses of Johnny Rotten appeared in Hot Topic stores, punk was a reaction to the commodified rock-�n�-roll culture of which, ironically, it is now a part. In 1977, punk was anything but mall fodder, or at least that�s what James Stark�s book Punk�77 wants us to believe. Juxtaposing black-and-white photos with personal testimonies. Punk �77 is a lot like a yearbook, an open-faced memoir that lifts the safety-pinned tartan skirt on a San Francisco punk scene struggling with its identity at the convergence of aging hippies, lam� disco suits, and teen ennui. Stark�s photographs illuminate the architecture of a developing scene in which torn denim, exposed clavicles, and padlocked chokers were de rigueur. Images of a young Debbie Harry, looking coy behind oversized sunglasses inside a dark, dilapidated club, Darby Crash, on stage, clenching a fist and holding a snarling note, and Joey Ramone�s kneecaps peeking through ripped jeans, act as details of a larger picture of artistic revolt against an emerging empire of consumer culture. In the spirit of prototypic street photographers Mary Ellen Mark, Diane Arbus, and Weegee, these punk images show adolescence as that fleeting time of malleable identity and experimentation. �Hopefully�, Stark writes �Punk �77 will give some insight as to why and how people create an identify for themselves and their time� – Review sent by James Stark. To purchase Punk 77, go to: http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/books/pnk77.php
() Vale, A few weeks back I was channel surfing and came across you moderating a panel of interesting guests (pranksters and punksters and so forth [on The Counter Culture Hour]). I live in San Francisco, and it made me happy to know that there are still people in the area like you who keep the light burning for truth and passionate, meaningful, soulful art. I quickly emailed my friend, Graham Rae, and it turns out he’s a fan of RE/Search, and sends letters to your email newsletter. He says to say hi. Anyway, keep up the good work. I like what RE/Search does and will tell others about it. – Kirk Mustard”
() “The first paperback edition of J.G. Ballard’s “Kingdom Come” is now out (Harper Perennial, �7.99) … the 16-page “P.S.” section at the rear of the volume contains a new 5-page interview with JGB by Sarah O’Reilly, entitled “Papering Over the Cracks”… – David Pringle
() “Thank you for your great selection of cultural survival manuals! Without them, I’d go insane… – Pilzkopf”
() “V, I was around from 76 on in S.F. and have a lot of mint copies of your early work and the great pieces subsequently. Glad to see you hanging in there and continuing to kick a–. I was one of the OG Clubfoot Orchestra guys-actually just last night Richard Marriott and I played a dive in LA for fun. I met you briefly a few times via Chaz Bufe and Chris Carlsson if I recall–most of the 70’s and 80’s are a blur, but I also recall saying howdy during the swing boom–Peter Walsh and I have played together for 30 years–sadly Peter is very ill now and I hope he recovers. At any rate: all the very best, you’ve really made a big dent and during a repressive era like this one I think the importance of your work is magnified. If they come to round up cats like you I know we’re all f–ked. Best, Dick Deluxe”
() “Why isn’t a “librarianship” course included in grade school education? HOW to find and organize “information” (books, CDs, LPs, magazines, et al). It seems a lot of the most essential education ISN’T included in our “free” educational system. Why?”
() “love your book INCREDIBLY STRANGE MUSIC VOL. TWO. Always tried to have a record room like p.ivy as described in it..yeah! — Tex Dixigas”
() “I chatted with you… and was wondering if you still have any copies of the Incredibly Strange Music and/or Incredibly Strange Films. I’ve known about those 2 books for years, but never see them anywhere, since they’re probably both out of print at the moment. [Note: they’re still available: http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com/books/ismprod.php ] I appreciated that version of ‘Mongoloid’ between you [on piano] and Gerald Casale [on vocals]… linked in the newsletter – I’ve always felt that song had a nice progressive/humanist kind of lyrical take contained within – and that version brought that forward, I thought… Stanley”
() FEEDBACK RE “CATASTROPHISM” in the last RE/Search newsletter:
() “Hi Vale, Catastrophism… a very poignant and apt term. Your last newsletter was really interesting. In that vein, An upcoming event at the Commonwealth club: THE WORLD WITHOUT US. Speaker: ALAN WEISMAN, Author,The World Without Us. Description: What would happen if humans vanished? Weisman has created a view of our planet as it would be if we suddenly disappeared. What damage has been done? What part of humankind’s creativity would survive? How would Earth’s other species fare? To find an answer, Weisman interviewed scientists from various fields… [Goggle Alan Weisman to learn more…] – John Randolph”
() “Hi Vale: I felt I should respond to James Lovelock’s pro-nuclear propaganda… the recent attempts to legitimize nuclear power as a solution to global warming is a troubling phenomenon…
“I’ve copied a rebuttal to Lovelock and his ilk below … “Ravaging the Earth by one irreparable means [nukes] is not a sensible way to prevent it from being destroyed by another [climate change]. There are alternatives. We should choose them and use them. I’ve also attached some more articles – one of which reveals that the sleazy PR firm “Hill and Knowlton has been paid $8 million to help the NEI [Nuclear Energy Institute] spread the word that the nukies have the silver bullet for solving global warming.”
“The best antidote to Lovelock et al., though, is Helen Caldicott, who I had the pleasure of hearing speak at Loyola University last year. The title of her 2006 book “Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer” says it all. You can find out more about her work at www.helencaldicott.com – another link you might want to share…
“This pro-nuclear resurgence is the result of a well-funded misinformation campaign that a disconcerting number of environmentally concerned people are falling for. It needs to be exposed thoroughly and challenged vigorously. : ) – Tammy.” [Check out this article by Rebecca Solnit:] from http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/07/10/2417/
() “As official “science” is just a tool of the power structure… you will encounter crackpot/fringe stuff all the way as soon as you are not content with what is fed to you on a plate. (Just like in music: Devo is not even mentioned much.)
“The key to sort the disinformation and the valuable info is knowledge – a lot of it. Insights into disinformation strategies can’t hurt either. The links I give you are mixed – I consider the info on them worthy of more than 15 minutes study 😉 but the material is a lot… more than the time on your hands.
“Books of Immanuel Velikovsky – a heap of data that would not fit in with official theories about the geological history of the globe. “Catastrophists often rely on bits and pieces from this book, perhaps indirectly, but nowhere else can they all be found, except perhaps for William Corliss’ catalogs and sourcebooks.”
“Val Valerian has nothing to do with the movie The Matrix”; his stuff is considerably earlier and draws info from sources like naval intelligence (potentially laced with disinformation, because, hey! Intelligence agencies, what’s their job? To lie.) NSA, NRA (before anybody in the USA even knew there was such a thing as the NSA), NASA scientists, etc. etc. This is very hard to digest and very far from the picture the mass media presents. But you won’t find these few thousand pages of confidential government papers anywhere else. Very detailed, quite a test of how much you can take.
“The truth about oil: it is not necessary. It is just an enforced tool to keep the power structure as it is. There a literary hundreds of better ways to get energy – cheaper, cleaner – but they all would sink the movers and shakers of today. Google “free energy” or ” zero point energy” and you poke into a nest of disinformation, Tesla, the usual conspirations, James Clerk Maxwell, UFOS, Viktor Schauberger, blahblahblah. By the way: the grip of the power structure shows cracks by now, compared with the 70’s and 80’s. Have a relaxed week – Ingolstadt, the “origin of the illuminati” (have a good laugh…) just an hour’s drive from here. – Frans S.
() “Hey Vale– Thanks again for the newsletter. In your discussion of catastrophism, “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy comes to mind. Not so much of a lead-up to apocalypse (or a discussion of what may bring catastrophe) but a great book dealing with the questionable life following a catastrophe. It’s hardly “underground” since it made the Oprah list (who’d a thunk?) but well worth the read! Also his “Blood Meridian” might be considered a “Pre-Catastrophic” novel (and one of the best books I’ve ever read).
Hope all is well with you and RE/Search……. –Randy”
AUGUST 2007 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com
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