WELCOME TO V. VALE’s [Abbreviated] RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #79, January 2009
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR – Dirk Dirksen book in-the-making, Ray Dennis Steckler, Bob Wilkins, and Ron Asheton R.I.P., and how about a James Howard Kunstleresque-future survivalism project?
2. Counter Culture Hour with guest: Jihad Jerry, Sat January 10, 2009 (www.accessf.org – channel 1)
3. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent..
4. FORTHCOMING EVENTS
5. Ian Webster on Meri St. Mary, White Trash Debutantes, Toiling Midgets
6. Steven Gray on Blixa Bargeld, Penelope Houston, Meri St. Mary
7. Recommended Links
9. Feedback from Readers
1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR.
Your editor has been “hit” by a 5-week (!!) cold, so this newsletter will also be succinct – another 4-hour (rather than the usual 10-12-hour) project. That said, I’m afraid I’ll have to start with some obituary material, of some noteworthy passings.
On Jan 7 2009, RAY DENNIS STECKLER, great filmmaker and creator of The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1963), Thrill Killers and many more low-budget DIY “classics,” died. We fondly remember visiting Ray at the Claremont Hotel in the Berkeley Hills on his last drive in his minivan to the Bay Area, and hanging out with his wife and children.
Jan 7 2009, Creature Features host Bob Wilkins died! Longterm Bay Area residents will fondly remember his late night TV show featuring memorable “B” movies. Google his name to find out more. Memorial service in Oakland scheduled. – news sent by Thrillville’s Will the Thrill Viharo, and John Stanley who inherited Bob Wilkins’ Creature Features as host. FYI, John has published some excellent film books.
R.I.P. RON ASHETON, Stooges guitarist, died January 6, 2009. www.iggypop.com What a shock!
NOW, YOU can participate: Do you remember Dirk Dirksen, impresario behind the Mabuhay Gardens, the club which almost single-handedly incubated the early San Francisco punk movement? He died just a couple of years ago. JAMES STARK is working on a book about Dirk, and requests your anecdotes/photos/stories/etc. Contact him: email@example.com. (Note that James Stark’s book PUNK 77 is still available from us – www.http://www.researchpubs.com )
Still Alive and Kicking: Don’t know about you, but, having been under the spell of James Howard Kunstler and other Peak Oil prophets, we are hunkering down in anticipation of the greatest economic catastrophe ever seen in our lifetime. Would anyone be interested in a RE/SEARCH SURVIVAL GUIDE? That’s what we truly want to work on! Send us feedback, just to prove you actually READ this newsletter! Send us your favorite “future survivalism” links!
2. Counter Culture Hour – with guest: Jihad Jerry NOW ON-LINE AND on cable access San Francisco 6:30 PM, Sat January 10, 2009 on-line (www.accessf.org – channel 1) as well as cable Channel 29, San Francisco.
You don’t have to be a DEVO fan to appreciate the acerbic wit and dark philosophical vision of DEVO founder Gerald V. Casale. Recommended for all who prize black humor.
A San Francisco event/showing of this episode for January is in the planning stages, so sign up for our “local subscribe” list for the details. Would you like to have a Counter Culture Hour showing in your town? Please write and ask us how you can do this!
3. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent
() ANP Quarterly, Vol 2 #2, featured a huge interview with V. Vale. (Vol 2 No 2) — we’re still basking in its afterglow. We even got an order for an 8-issue set of Search & Destroy…
() Gus Van Sant’s MILK. Beautiful black-and-white opening documentary footage. Great opera scene with fantastic music. History we missed, for the most part, even though we lived in San Francisco — unless you lived in the Castro district, you probably didn’t know about the last-minute parades, rallies, et al. Our ex-intern Zach was glimpsed in two scenes, too. A lot of San Francisco actors got work as extras — the film was good for the local economy, and in turn it is garnering a lot of local support. Photographer Dan Nicoletta is portrayed; he gave us photographs for our MODERN PRIMITIVES classic twenty years ago.
() Last Saturday was our “movie marathon” day. Besides seeing the aforementioned MILK, at home we also watched INFERNO, CARNIVAL OF SOULS, and TERROR AT THE OPERA. Dario Argento is one of our favorite living film directors, and the music in his INFERNO and TERROR AT THE OPERA is first-rate, worth focusing on (since we’ve already seen the films at least 3 times each). The music was also amazing in CARNIVAL OF SOULS, which had the largest, most complex pipe organ we’ve ever seen…
() “Ken Hollings’ WELCOME TO MARS: Fantasies of Science in the American Century 1947-1959. “Draws upon newspaper accounts, advertising campaigns, declassified government archives, old movies and newsreels… Hollings depicts an unsettled time in which the layout of Suburbia reflected atomic bombing strategies, bankers, and movie stars experimented with hallucinogens, brainwashing was just another form of interior decoration, and strange lights in the sky were taken very seriously indeed.” A U.K. book From Strange Attractor Press.
() Paul Fussell: Bad, or, The Dumbing of America.” Not as essential as CLASS, but still, easily read during an airplane ride.
() All five Eve Diamond mysteries, set in Los Angeles, and written by Denise Hamilton, editor of the L.A. Noir anthology. Focus: crimes in L.A.’s subcultures: Asian, Hispanic, Russian…
() Galatea’s Pants, Vol. 22, $5 postpaid from Lauren Eggert-Crowe, 1540 Merrill St, Santa Cruz CA 95062. This “zine” is mostly pure gold – that is, if your gold standard is “rebellion.” “Some talking points on the financial crisis” by Kate Griffiths and Isaac Silver is, well, uncompromising. Excellent reading for those few who hate any kind of compromise. Even essays I didn’t think interested me, did. It has been a great experience watching this zine evolve and grow over the past decade.
4. OTHER FORTHCOMING EVENTS:
() FRI Jan 9, 8pm-12am, BIG DADDY BENEFIT hosted by KAL SPELLETICH at his fabulous studio. 1043 Marin. At 3rd and Cesar Chavez head toward bay, turn right onto Illinois St, go one block & you’re there. Interactive machines and robots from Kal Spelletich and the Seemen, pedal-powered amusement devices from Pauldaplumber, pedal-powered rides from Cyclecide, RAT-TAT-TOE (tic tac toe w/ rats), with performances by The Amazing Jarico Reesce, and SPY & MOSES! There will also be refreshments and tamales as well as some secret surprises!
() Fri Jan 23 at Elbo Roo m, Valencia/17th St. INDYFEST Benefit/Launch Party. Bands include Shotgun Wedding Quintet, Ex-Boyfriends, Pollo del Mar. $10
() SAVAGE REPUBLIC will be touring Europe this spring – check myspace.com/savagerepublic and mobilization.com. A new F-Space CD “Bleeding Rays of Dawn” is available from mobilization.com – sonic samples available at myspace.com/fspace
SAVAGE REPUBLIC EUROPEAN TOUR:
Jan 13 2009 8:00P LE KLUB PARIS
Jan 14 2009 8:00P Son’Art BORDEAUX
Jan 15 2009 8:00P SONIC LYON
Jan 16 2009 8:00P TAGOMAGO MASSA
Jan 17 2009 8:00P Arci Kroen VERONA
Jan 18 2009 8:00P For Sale PIACENZA
Jan 20 2009 8:00P Circolo degli Artisti (+ Carla Bozulich’s Evangelista) ROMA
Jan 22 2009 8:00P SPAZIO OFF TRANI
Jan 24 2009 8:00P TBA BOLZANO
()Sat Jan 10, 8pm, OMNICIRCUS hosts Moth Nor Rust concert. 550 Natoma (6-7th St), 415-701-0686. $10
() Eddie Muller’s NOIR CITY film festival at the Castro Theatre. Highly recommended by Jello Biafra!
() Jan 31, Uptown in Oakland: the Avengers play a rare concert. Nota Bene!
5. Stephane von Stephane is on RE/Treat, so this month, guest writer Ian Webster writes on Lani Lithman, White Trash Debutan tes, Meri St. Mary , etc.
“Saturday, Nov 29, 2008, the glamorous Lani Lithman (the late Snakefinger’s daughter) opened the show at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, with her band, Girls With Guns (myspace.com/girlswithgunsrock). Lani’s material is both interesting and well-executed. She shouted out a birthday greeting to her mother who was in the audience. Next, Punk Rock veterans The Lewd performed a solid set, including my personal favorite, “mobile Home.” They were followed by the White Trash Debutantes, featuring Ginger Coyote, editor of Punk Globe, who appeared as a dirty blond — a Very dirty blonde. Kathy Peck of The Contractions joined the band onstage for a rousing rendition of “Let’s Do the Time Warp.” It seems that whenever the Debs perform, they bring a party atmosphere to the room. Finally the band Dr Know provided fuel for the mosh pit.
“Meri St. Mary performed at Salon de Etoile — she was about to cloister herself in a recording studio, and this was a last chance to see her perform for a while. Her new line-up featured Ronnie Guitar (myspace.com/RonnieSargentKustomGuitars) and Dominique Leslie (formerly Vince of Animal Things). Meri’s act might best be described as Folk-Punk. Her lyrics run the gamut from introspective to exuberant. I look forward to hearing the results of her current recording efforts, plus any recordings made with the Housecoat Project that may be released on Subterranean Records in the future. As always, Meri’s songs are both intriguing and intriguingly presented.
“Folllowing Meri’s act, some videos by Charles Brown (ex-Voice Farm) showcased an array of curious characters portrayed by Mr. Brown. I spoke with Michael Belfer (Sleepers/Tuxedo Moon guitarist) and he said he was working with Craig Gray (ex-Toiling Midgets, Negative Trend) and this new band under the name of Toiling Midgets played last Sunday at Annie’s Social Club, one of our favorite San Francisco meeting places… More later!” – Ian
6. Steven Gray on Blixa Bargeld’s latest live show at Project Artaud (Nov. 21, 2008): THE EXECUTION OF PRECIOUS MEMORIES
“We were in the front row at the Project Artaud Theater, with Blixa on stage. He was speaking into a microphone, reading from an assortment of memories (whole or one-line fragments) which random people had filled out on a questionnaire and mailed back to him. He then cherry-picked the results and fit them into an ongoing format of choreography and musical composition (the Kunst-Stoff dance company and Nanos Operetta). He has taken this show on the road, from Berlin to Buenos Aires and New Delhi, with the recited memory content differing from town to town. He also sings a little.
“A woman emerges from the shadows and moves around a huge dark stage, while memories are recited amid idiosyncratic sound-effects from an ensemble with violin, cello, accordion, drums, and what appeared to be the use of a bow on the edge of some vibes. The side-lit bodies moving about onstage in unusual/abstract patterns seemed to be in a different dimension from the spoken word performance. Blixa was surprisingly subdued, and I missed a few words and phrases along the way. Two other voices (including Carla Kilhstedt) contributed now and then.
“It was odd to see this at Project Artaud. I used to live there many years ago (in a studio on a corridor called Alchemical Rhetoric) and there were ghosts lurking behind the walls. I also have memories of Einsturzenden Neubautenin the late ’80s, a show in an SF club in 1993 (now the Glass Kat), and talking with the band after a show at the Fillmore in 2004. During the ’93 show Blixa was trying to get the sound man to crank up his microphone, with mounting fury and frustration. This time he wanted more amplification as well, but only had to raise his hand.
“As for the memories being recited – they ranged from the vague and impressionistic (a lot of “nature” references) to the more explicit (sex and politics). Someone managed to include both Bush and donkey d-icks in the same line. Thanks for the memories.” – Steven
MERI ST. MARY AT THE VORTEX ROOM (Nov 6, 2008) – by Steven Gray
I met Meri St. Mary on a radio show and she invited me to see her perform at the Vortex Room, which resembles an undercover speakeasy in the 1920’s, except that time has stopped around 1965. Proprietor Dog Swan describes his lair thusly: “Full house party with classic car in front. The Bifurcated Library (TV, electronics, radio, film, photography, architecture and independent design, prison, medical, Russian, comix, beat-jazz-folk, art). The Latent Lounge with a view of the tiny creatures in the Vortex Room below, live performance, video, film and the Art Passe Gallery.”
I walked into the Vortex Room which has a huge vortex spinning slowly on a screen, part of the hypnotic process which detaches you from the present as you’re lounging with the retro-sexuals who are sipping their martinis and watching Penelope Houston video highlights from her career beginning with the Avengers. Penelope is an old friend of Dog’s and a veteran of his TV show, “The Doghouse.” Afterward, Meri St. Mary (once married to Flipper vocalist Bruce Loose) took the stage and revved things up with an acoustic set (accompanied by Dominique, the former Vince from Animal Things, on the keyboards). She strums a guitar with fierce determination and sings like a born songwriter. Twenty years ago she was in a band and made a record called WIDE EYE DOO DAT. Her life and her career derailed at some point, but now she is back, playing live and making recordings. What she does sounds better than a lot of other stuff out there, past and present. Courtney Love better retire, if she hasn’t already. ” [end]
7. RECOMMENDED LINKS – thanks to our friends Phil G, Ferrara, James McN-, Derek B. & Others who send us links.
() La 1ère WEBTV 100% consacré aux Musiques Electroniques ! www.22tv.fr
() from Stephane von Stephane: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upT0JlmDQo0
() from Sharon Leong: http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blgabe.htm
also, the latest issue of CARBON 14 features an interview on Sharon: http://www.c14.com/c1431.html
() from Hokan: http://www.aksalser.com/game.htm
() from Extreme Elvis aka Matt Cornell: http://www.vimeo.com/2621788
() from Fly; her band Zero Content is on the soundtrack: http://www.vimeo.com/2621788
() from Tim Chapman: http://www.flickr.com/photos/2ubh/3110091225/
() from MAL SHARPE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4zq7gCJZoA
() from Ferrara BP: http://download.yousendit.com/Q01FWGJPd0ExUUJMWEE9PQ
() from Mexico: www.congeladadeuva.com
() from Ron Chornow: http://www.sockandawe.com/
() from Laughing Squid RE the RE/Search “Leary On Drugs” book: http://laughingsquid.com/leary-on-drugs-the-writings-and-lectures-of-timothy-leary/
() from Bruno R: http://lsont2.canalblog.com/
() From Mako Sano: www.100abdominalexercises.com/
() from Phil G: “r.mutt lives” – http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/15/the-world-of-art-museum-toilets-revealed
() from Robert Turman (ex-NON): “…did a show the other night in Cleveland, here’s a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=931GatlUjow&feature=channel
() from Rick McGrath: “I predict we will be swept away by a time of hyper-inflation, as the world’s economies react to the trillions of freshly-printed dollars and devalue them accordingly – put all ya got into collectables now, kids… we’ll be pushing wheelbarrels of dough to buy books in the future.”
() from Mike Bonsasll, the COMPLETE (so far) JG BALLARD CONCORDANCE: http://mbonsall.homeserver.com/concordance/
() from Matt Gonzalez: “Ralph Nader’s remarks at Peter Camejo’s memorial:” http://vimeo.com/2333631
() “Once you realize we are all mad, life starts to make sense.” – New Year’s card sent by artist Gee Vaucher, CRASS founder.
() “In times of war, first shoes, then food.” – El Greco
() “Money is just the poor man’s credit card.” – Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media
() “The LACK of money is the root of all evil.” – Mark Twain
() “The key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby
() “America has always grown by playing out its soils, wasting its oil, and by looking abroad for the people it needed to do its work.” – Emmanuel Todd, “After the Empire: The Breakdown of the American Order,” 2002, p.177
() “The European Union does a better job than America at following the biblical commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Capital pun-ishment has been abolished, and the homicide rate is very low, only slightly more than 1 per 100,000 inhabitants. Executions in America are a routine affair and the homicide rate… remains between 6 and 7 per 100,000 inhabitants.” – ibid, p.176
() “[America’s] dependence on foreign sources of investment capital is greater than ever. America’s real war is about economics not terorism. The country is battling to maintain its status as the world’s financial center by making a symbolic show o its military might in the heart of Eurasia, thereby hoping to forget and have others ignore America’s industrial weakness, its financial needs, and its predatory character…The war aggravated the global economic crisis that has been mismanaged by the world’s central power. The American economy itself is increasingly perceived as an unfathomable mystery. One no longer has any clear idea which U.S. companies are totally genuine. One no longer knows how this economy works…Financial institutions in Europe and Asia with heavy investments in the United States will lose a lot of money — the fall of the stock market being only the first stage in the disappearance of foreign holdings in the United States.” – pp xviii-xix, op cit, written in 2002 [!]
9. FEEDBACK FROM READERS:
() STACY’S BOOKSTORE is closing March 2009, unless San Francisco rallies to save it (a la Kepler’s Bookstore in Palo Alto). RE/Search got medical textbooks and a human skull from the basement back in the ’80s. News sent by Johnny Strike, CRIME founder.
() “I’m enjoying the PrOnnovation book! (available from www.http://www.researchpubs.com) …Here’s the link to my fancy virtual tour of pencils, haunted parlours, and opium dens: http://jainabee.com ”
() from Johnny Strike: “As a prank, students from local high schools have been taking advantage of the county’s Speed Camera Program in order to exact revenge on people… students duplicate the license plates by printing plate numbers on glossy photo paper, using fonts from certain websites that “mimic” those on Maryland license plates. They tape the duplicate plate over the existing plate on the back of their car and purposefully speed through a speed camera, the parent said. The victim then receives a citation in the mail days later. Students are even obtaining vehicles from their friends that are similar or identical to the make and model of the car owned by the targeted victim…”
() from John Blades (firstname.lastname@example.org): “Early SPK with an enlightening interview with founding member Graeme Revell. Also Nurse With Wound programming. www.anonradio.net
() “dude – 3 new books at once? way to go!!!!! – david”
() “Hi, Mr. Vale:
“Thirty years ago I shot a film about a punk rock concert held in Toronto called THE LAST POGO. This October I released it on DVD. I got a nice bunch of words in The Big Takeover (which had a nice Part 2 of an Interview with V. Vale). I’d love to send you a comp copy and I would love you to take a look at it; I think you might like it. Of course a review wouldn’t hurt, but honestly — I’d just like you to take 25 minutes out of your life and get a taste of what was happening in Toronto back in the day… At my site http://www.thelastpogo.net you’ll find that lately most of the posts are all about me shilling the product. The site is mostly a chronicle of the making of my current project, THE LAST POGO JUMPS AGAIN in which, using my original film as a reference and spine, I’m trying to explore why the punk scene started in Toronto — and what’s happened to everyone since, a retarded hybrid of Michael Apted’s Seven Up series and I don’t know what. Whatever. Thanks for all the fun over the years.Cheers, Colin Brunton .” Colin, we liked your film and feel anybody interested in 70s Punk Rock needs to order it from your website! – V. Vale
() From James McN: “I saw this great punk duo on Thursday at The Parkside. They gave me a t-shirt and their CD. Here is some of the music from the CD. I particularly like ‘the welcome’ and ‘change it now!’ songs, but all of them are quite original and reminiscent of John Doe and Exene Cervenca and the original feeling of X with a dark side.” http://www.juanitaandtherabbit.com/music.html
() from Jenny Lens, 70s Punk Photographer in L.A.:
also, Ramones eBook highlighted on boingboing.net!
JAN 2009 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com.
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