WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #97, SEPTEMBER 2010
RE/SEARCH | 20 Romolo #B | San Francisco CA 94133 | 415.362.1465
www.researchpubs.com | http://www.myspace.com/researchpubs | firstname.lastname@example.org
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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR, V. VALE: “Could there be an Internet Apocalypse?”
2. “Modern Primitives” excerpt now on aerbook website!
3. Counter Culture Hour with APP: 6 PM Pacific Time, Saturday September 11 – also simulcast on-line
4. FORTHCOMING EVENTS
5. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing
6. Public Image Limited Concert Review by John C. Sulak
7. Recommended Links – send some!
9. Letters from Readers
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ORDER the DELUXE 20th Anniversary MODERN PRIMITIVES HARDBACK LIBRARY EDITION on Glossy Paper! Retail orders
– Paperback (List $25) $21.25 + shipping
– Hardback limited edition (List $50) $42.50 + shipping
Order (including payment) by September 30, 2010 – ORDER FROM WWW.RESEARCHPUBS.COM or: order by phone 415-362-1465 (& receive additional free book of our choice)
Please contact us for wholesale ordering prices and terms!
There are 17 testimonials from APP (Association of Professional Piercers) Conference 2009 on YouTube now — see what these body modification professionals have to say about our “Modern Primitives” book:
go to link to see “our” channel with these and other videos!
1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR, V. VALE — Could there be an Internet Apocalypse?
Follow me on Twitter!
(ValeRESearch — http://twitter.com/ValeRESearch?utm_source=follow&utm_campaign=newfollow20100706&utm_medium=email&utm_content=profile)
or watch my videos on youtube and facebook.
Note that Meri St. Mary (new album on Subterranean Records – her 2nd LP under the group name “Housecoat Project” – titled “Girlfiend”) interviewed V. Vale on her radio program, now available at http://audio.kvmr.org/podhawk/index.php?cat=The%20Underground%20Sound
In the Bay Area, the San Bruno conflagration (37 homes blown to kingdom come, et al) remains a “hot topic,” igniting countless discussions along the lines of “It could happen here.” How precarious our complicated post-industrial society may well be, liable at any moment to unanticipated apocalypse or cataclysm! Nobody wants to be reminded that the supply of natural gas, oil/gasoline, or even pure water may be finite… or maybe everybody is suffering from “peak-oil-warning” fatigue.
What produces the ubiquitous electricity we take for granted? Supposedly at least one-third is derived from “cheap” oil, and when that oil reaches two hundred dollars a gallon — well, what next? Water wheels installed on rivers and windmills on windy hills — will they take up the slack? How about harvesting electrical power from ocean tides? (warning – unpopular view coming up: We’ve already dismissed biodiesel as not practical on a global usage scale — it’s okay if only a few are utilizing it, but if EVERYBODY starts, then…)
Needless to say, if electricity becomes unaffordable, then Kiss the Internet Goodbye!
How many assumptions is our current life based upon? That cars and freeways are eternal? That the number of Internet connections can continue multiplying forever at the current indexes of expansion? That the Internet is eternal? That cloud computing storage can expand infinitely? With so many on a daily basis converting to GoogleDocs stored on cloud computing, will there one day be a “data meltdown” when massive quantities of terabytes just vanish forever?
Being of a black-humor outlook, I find it easy to imagine a virus that infects the entire Internet and all cellphone text-messaging networks, turning everything into scrambled-up gobbledygook. Imagine all human DNA suddenly, inexplicably, producing two-headed babies or hydrocephalic infants or lobster children. Could there be a virus that attaches itself to every word and mathematical formula, inverting the letters and digits randomly? How about a virus that attacks all linearities in images, fracturing and rearranging maps, photos and graphics higgledy-piggledy? A virus that repaints and randomizes all surfaces, or that imposes insane, macabre facial patterns where none previously existed?
Twenty years ago somebody I once knew predicted that AIDS would become airborne (and, you guess the rest). Well, it hasn’t happened yet, has it? Maybe just imagining/predicting apocalypse or catastrophe is enough to keep it at bay … keep it from actually occurring. William Burroughs once said, “The best way to keep something bad from happening is to see it ahead of time.” Let’s hope that Uncle Bill is once again “right,” as he has been so often in the past… – V. Vale
2. Modern Primitives excerpt now on aerbook website.
Here is a way to get a taste of the book: read part of Ed Hardy’s interview on your computer, iPhone, iPad, or Android phone — try it out and let us know your experience.
We are inching our way to having RE/Search available as eBooks — this was a step in that direction –
3. Counter Culture Hour – Sat September 10, 2010 – 6:00 PM PACIFIC TIME.
ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL PIERCERS CONVENTION 2009 – Interviews from the conference floor with: James Weber, Raelyn Gallina, Steve Joyner, David Hahn, and a dozen others. They talk about their experiences in the body-modification world and how they first heard about “Modern Primitives.”
Eedited/produced by Marian Wallace; interviews by V. Vale.
The Counter Culture Hour (aka RE/SEARCH TV) is also ON-LINE as well as on cable access San Francisco Channel 29 — 6pm Pacific Time, Sat September 11, 2010 ALSO on-line (simulcast) – at this link:
You need a fairly decent internet connection and computer to “get it.”
USA west coast: 6:00 PM Saturday, Sept 11
USA east coast: 9:00 PM Saturday, Sept 11
London: 2:00 AM Sunday, Sept 12
Tokyo: 10:00 AM Sunday, Sept 12
If you cannot get this online (we have heard some complaints about this), please write us to get a DVD copy. ($20 postpaid USA domestic, $25 overseas – to cover expenses)
Would you like to have a Counter Culture Hour showing in your town? Please write and ask us how you can do this. (write: firstname.lastname@example.org)
The new management of the Public Access Station is working towards having all shows available all the time in an archive, and we are looking into other hostings for the show, also as an audio MP3. Or, contact us for a DVD now! ($20 postpaid USA domestic, $25 overseas – to cover expenses)
4. FORTHCOMING EVENTS (San Francisco unless Otherwise Noted)
() $8 Mon Sept 13, 7pm (early show) at Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk St/Sutter-Post Sts, SF: Vibrators, Poison Control. Vibrators were a First Wave U.K. Punk band and it seems unbelievable they will be playing at the tiny Hemlock Tavern. A word to the wise…
() FREE Wed Sept 15, 6pm — SF Main Library, basement auditorium – 100 Larkin St, SF – V. VALE RE/SEARCH A/V Presentation! Library production with Michele Tea, the founder of RADAR Productions, a literary non-profit which produces the monthly RADAR Reading Series at the San Francisco Public Library. This week, Sept. 15th the presentations will include comedienne GINA GOLD, culture-sparker LARRY-BOB ROBERTS, independent publisher V. VALE + renowned poet/writer EILEEN MYLES. Free! With cookies! Hosted by Michelle Tea. Ask a question, get a cookie!
() $ Sun Sept 12, 6:30pm: IT CAME FROM KUCHAR will screen at the Rafael Film Center in Marin County. George Kuchar will attend this screening with his brand new video diary. He will host a Q&A with me after the screening… so it should be LOADS of fun! Marin County natives should be especially thrilled about this screening. Please tell your Bay Area friends! Rafael Film Center info: http://www.cafilm.org/rfc/films/1423.html
Also… IT CAME FROM KUCHAR will screen throughout England on Monday, September 13th at Apollo Cinemas. This is through the Raindance Distribution Tour, so please tell your UK friends!
Raindance info: http://www.raindance.org/site/index.php?id=524,6205,0,0,1,0
AND… just making sure that EVERYONE knows that the DVD with 45 minutes of extras (more outrageous than the film) and a Kuchar-Kroot commentary is available at amazon:
() FREE Fri Sept 17, 6-8pm, Electric Works Gallery/Bookstore, 130 8th St/Mission St, SF. Opening for Ana Teresa Fernandez’ large-scale photorealist paintings on a “water” theme, plus Elaine Buckholtz’s painting-moving light installation(s?) plus sound by Floor Vahn. Looks intriguing!
() $ Fri Sept 17th at Noon, Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St/2nd floor, doors open 11:30AM: (This program is free for Commonwealth Club members.) Social Capital: Put Your Money Where Your Meaning Is https://tickets.commonwealthclub.org/open.asp?show=2022 More than 1,000 people from more than 35 countries are coming to San Francisco in October, intent on showing the world that there is a real market at the intersection of money and meaning. Experts in areas as diverse as mobile food systems, philanthropy and international development will introduce and explain the growing social enterprise investment movement. Join us for an exciting and informative preview of the ideas and issues of SOCAP 2010 in conversation with the team leading the upcoming conference. Program Organizer: Kevin O’Malley. **Note that on Wed Sept 22, 6pm, the Commonwealth Club will also host: “The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion. This program sounds very interesting! Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St/2nd St, SF. https://tickets.commonwealthclub.org/open.asp?show=1924
() Donation Sat Sept 18, 10:30pm, HYPNODROME, 575 10th St (Bryant/Division), SF. Rumi Missabu of the Cockettes presents an evening of films and performances, directly following the award-winning PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI, the Hypnodrome’s longest-running hit live theatre performance – it’s a hit for good reason. Some people have seen it 4 times!
() FREE Sun Sept 19, 1-4pm, SF Main Public Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St/Grove, SF. American Book Awards 2010.
() NEW YORK CITY Sept 23,24 – Alejandro Jodorowsky IN PERSON with films at Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY http://gold.madmuseum.org – we wish we could be there! Jodorowsky is definitely one of the world’s greatest living filmmakers…
() FREE. Fri Sept 24, 7pm – The Specious Species Magazine Release Party at Viracocha, 998 Valencia St/21st St, SF (415-374-7048 or viracochasf.com. NOTE: RE/SEARCH will be here with some books for sale – come meet us! Evening will include “surreal videos by Ed Jones, readings by John Shirley, Alvin Orloff and others, and the bands Happy Idiot and Blowie (a really good Ziggy Stardust era David Bowie cover band), plus much more — Joe Donohoe” Note that Joe Donohoe has been a RE/Search intern and supporter for years, so we hope you will support him and buy his latest issue, which (disclosure) includes an interview with V. Vale, and an interview with Jello Biafra, plus much more…
() $ Fri-Sun Sep 24-26, Yerba Buena cinema, SF: Totally Ridiculous: The Lost Films of Charles Ludlam The visionary behind the notorious Ridiculous Theatrical Company, Ludlam’s densely-layered queer satires embraced the ridiculousness of high culture and the seriousness of the low. (These films are difficult to see… and Ludlam inspired the HYPNODROME.)
() FREE Sat Sept 25, 10-5pm. Expo for the Artist, Cellspace, 2050 Bryant / 18th-19th Sts, SF. RE/SEARCH will have a table here – come talk with us! Certain titles will be discounted for you or your gift-giving impulses.
() Some Free/$ The Buckminster Fuller Institute will be in the Bay Area Oct-Nov with a bunch of events, starting Sept 15th. Buckminster Fuller was a forward-thinking “architect” for the future — far ahead of his time. “Buckminster Fuller was a renowned 20th century inventor and visionary, who dedicated his life to making the world work for all of humanity.” — http://www.bfi.org/
– BFI at Long Now Foundation – September 15th, 2010 6 – 8 pm (time subject to change) Long Now Foundation – San Francisco, CA (map)
Meet members from Bioneers, The Long Now Foundation, and BFI for an evening reception and preview of the upcoming BFI intensive at the Bioneers Conference entitled “Architecting the Future”. The event is free and open to the public; please rsvp here.
– Zero1 Festival September 16-19, 2010, Reception: Sept. 17, 5:30 – 8 pm. 360 South Market Street, San Jose, CA – Entries to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge and Idea Index 1.0 will be featured in an exhibition in conjunction with the Zero1 Festival. Held in the heart of Silicon Valley, the Biennial seeks to inspiring creativity at the intersection of art, technology, and digital culture. With this year’s theme being “Build Your Own World” the featured exhibition is a perfect match. The event is free and open to the public, please rsvp here.
5. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent
() HOWL. We saw an advance screening and recommend this “biopic” for all too young to experience firsthand the real “Beat Generation” (which includes practically everyone still alive on the planet). We need more films about poets and poetry! There are great courtroom moments here. See review below:
() REVIEW of HOWL by Maya Riebel (our former intern from Canada)
Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman make a concerted effort away from the conventional “biopic,” and towards the raw energy from the Beatnik era. The directors are responsible for award-winning documentaries such as The Celluloid Closet (1995) and Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt (1989).
James Franco will probably bring the most attention to this film, he of latest Pineapple Express fame. In a career-changing role, he tackles both Ginsberg’s speaking mannerisms and inner struggle with his homosexuality. Is he too handsome for the role? Maybe; the portrayal appears a bit contrived at first, but Franco brings enough energy to convince us of his sincerity and manages to carry the iconic figure. Other notables include David Strathairn as the prosecutor, Jon Hamm (Mad Men) as Ferlinghetti’s lawyer Ehrlich, and a fantastic turn by Jeff Daniels as the supercilious and slightly ridiculous English professor David Kirk (a far cry from the hippy “Dude” Lebowski).
Clocking in at a square 90 min for a “short and sweet” effect, the film centers itself on Ginsberg’s Howl poem, alternating between three major scenes: Ginsberg’s 1955 first reading of Howl, in a hipster hangout in the Fillmore, the trial for public obscenity (which took place without the poet), and a fictional interview of Ginsberg in his home, two years after his newfound fame.
Most unexpected is the animation which illustrates the poem as Franco, in voice-over, gives a passionate reading with Ginsberg’s idiosyncratic cadence. At times it resembles rough computer animation, almost cheapening the subject. At others it achieves enough grandeur and artistry to effectively express what might have been the genius poet’s visions, with a nod to the psychedelic effects of marijuana and peyote. Movie-goers will no doubt be divided over whether this section of the film was necessary, but it must be noted that Ginsberg’s eloquence shines best in these highly visual, drugged-up scenes of apocalyptic violence.
Ultimately, despite the great acting and the ambitious animation sequences, the film feels a bit slow, and may be dull for some. Those expecting the typical Hollywood biopic, rife with drama, pseudo-scandalous gay sex, or more of Ginsberg’s youth experiences as a rebellious Beatnik, will be disappointed. For Franco, “the most important thing was if the film could capture the poem the way it was in 1955 – so incredibly raw and new” (Larsen Associates’ “Press Notes”). The animation is a commendable effort in this direction, reaching for the heart of the poem.
Chances are that with the sharp focus on the text of Howl, audience members will want to read the poem all over again – or for the first time, if they haven’t yet. You can’t quite condemn a film that worships poetry and uncensored literature these days. – by Maya Riebel
() Sat-Sun Sept 4,5, 9th annual SF Zinefest. This FREE event perhaps elicits the most wide-ranging, interesting demographic attendance imaginable, as the majority of people attending are DIY zine publishers or artists or… Certainly SF Zinefest could happen TWICE a year, it seems! We thank François Vigneault & friends for putting together a most interesting/inspiring line-up of panels and speakers, and for allowing RE/Search a moment in the sun on both days… Food was cheap and excellent — and, of course, when everything else is FREE, how much better can the world be?! We met some of the BEST people there, we think. And, Goteblud proprietor Matt Wobensmith mounted the first-ever exhibition of complete runs of SEARCH & DESTROY, DAMAGE, and ANOTHER ROOM magazines (this must have been an archivist’s nightmare to compile). We thank him for his dedication and achievements…
() Thur Sept 9 – “Hugh Brown: Allegedly” art exhibition at Robert Koch Gallery, 49 Geary St, Room 550, SF (note: exit elevator, go right). After some searching we finally found the gallery (no name or room number visible) and spent over an hour (with the art-for-sale list) examining the extremely diverse and amusing, not to mention thought-provoking, amazing array of art all produced by one-time Bay Arean Hugh Brown, whom RE/Search met around 1979. During the past decades Hugh has produced a huge array of all kinds of art in seemingly every possible medium, culminating in the show we saw last night. Hardcore Situationists would have been pleased! A gallery catalog was available, too: “Allegedly: the Hugh Brown Chainsaw Collection.” We highly recommend “checking out” the work of Hugh Brown on the Internet. This show will be on display through October 31, and another show was just on display in Los Angeles at the Robert Berman Gallery, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica…
() NEGATIVE TREND, one of the only surviving First Wave San Francisco Punk Bands, played two shows in the past month – the first at Submission Gallery (with Goat Fluffer, an all-female band we particularly like), at a space we like (2183 Mission/17th-18th Sts, SF), and the second at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, CA.
The Gilman Street evening (Aug 28) featured SEVEN bands! Opening trio was from Japan (what was their name? – they were very cute). We liked Last Round Up (esp. the singer’s sense of humor), You Die (“funny” name) and Circle One featuring early Punk guitarist Mike Vallejo from L.A. Was it Mental Cancer that featured a mohawked female singer who tried hard to engage the audience, mostly singing at people (in their face) on the “dance” floor?
Look for an upcoming episode of the Counter Culture Hour featuring an hour-long interview with N.Trend guitarist Craig Gray (who, BTW, was in an early incarnation of the ’77 Punk band GRAND MAL, along with your editor V. Vale on bass, and OFFS singer Don Vinil on vocals). Negative Trend’s songs are classic and the lyrics are more relevant than ever. Look for them on facebook and MySpace as well…
() THE BIG TAKEOVER 66: Special 30th Anniversary Issue. Founder Jack Rabid & his wife Mary were our funny, generous Brooklyn hosts during our brief trip to Manhattan beginning of August. Jack curated The Big Takeover 30th Anniversary Festival/Party at Bell House, Brooklyn, with 17 bands including S.F.’s The Avengers! Despite being super-busy he managed to look after us and others in his home office, staying up til 4 AM on Saturday night after the show playing us one amazing record after another — now we are fans of the very first BeeGees’ recordings (the Australian Beatles). Somehow, Jack has kept going, without ceasing, his publication which now must be reckoned the BEST and ONLY recommended magazine for figuring out which new bands and records are worth checking out (in the current information overload). In issue #66 (!!) Jack’s retrospective-editorial is particularly compelling as it barely hints at the financial problems of keeping an independent publication going and NEVER GIVING UP! We advise supporting Jack by SUBSCRIBING – email email@example.com, or send $20 to The Big Takeover, 356 4th St, upper fl, Brooklyn NY 11215.
() TO DIE NO MORE by Herbert Pfostl & Kristofor Minta, from Blind Pony Books, New York – Seattle.This beautifully produced chapbook (handmade brown cardstock cover; sepia ink texts and two-tone sepia-black-and-white illustrations) was gifted to us by Herbert at the New Museum (235 Bowery, NYC) which on floor two is hosting a BRION GYSIN RETROSPECTIVE through October 31. Herbert’s book is filled with anecdotes and quotations dealing with death, and if death is your subject matter, your book will never become obsolete or outdated! Apparently, most of the text is from a diverse selection of writers, some little-known to us, and others more “classic” such as Herman Melville and Michel de Montagine. (We recommend this beautiful limited edition.)
The BRION GYSIN RETROSPECTIVE took us a full three hours to appreciate, as there was so much text to read on the walls, plus classic Anthony Balch films to re-experience in the “film room.” We also re-experienced the Gysin Dream Machine in a small dark room, sitting on cushions around it. The show also offered rare audio recordings and several video viewing stations with headphones whereby one could view, say, an interview with William S. Burroughs (who collaborated with Gysin on a number of the artworks on view), or — did we miss a video interview with Gysin himself? We got kicked out at 6pm before we could take in the entire show to our satisfaction. So, RE/Search highly recommends that anybody within hailing range of Manhattan set aside time to see this rare retrospective, and also pick up the beautiful hardback show catalog: BRION GYSIN DREAM MACHINE.
() MEDIA JUNKY $1 or Stamps from Jason Rodgers, POB 8512, Albany NY 12208. This is a handmade zine trying to provide interconnections between actual paper underground publishing points. His mission statement includes “I consider underground publishing to be an entirely different monster from the Internet. For that reason I will only review material with a physical mailing address. Too bad if you don’t like it. Underground publishing should, in my opinion, aim to transform the world. Destroy the control machine.” Couldn’t agree more!
() “Yummy” books from Last Gasp – support local publishing at its highest production values!
– Scott Musgrove Postcard Set of 12 postcards. Looking at these gorgeous cards, it’s difficult to imagine how color printing could become better. The photography is so sharp and three-dimensional in depth that one feels oneself floating into the paintings…
– Camilla d’Errico: postcard Set of 30 cards. Pure, beautiful escapism into an infantile eternal childhood where all creatures are your friends, even army ants, octopuses and snakes. Looking at these images is like eating cotton candy painted with the entire rainbow of pastel watercolors, and living in an Eden where birds and butterflies no longer fear humans but hug them, occasionally watched over by machines of loving grace (to paraphrase Richard Brautigan). Camilla d’Errico’s world may also be the prequel to Barbarella (not only the movie, but the original book)…
– Startling Art: Revealing the Art of Dennis Larkins. Truly “great” art is always ahead of its time, yet we live in a “chronocracy” as this book’s “introduction/dossier” alerts us. The past we choose can create the future we want — at least in the other-worldly dimension of ART — and immersing oneself between the covers of this endearing hardback, one smiles at virtually every pair of pages. A production like this makes one sincerely doubt the lasting satisfaction of experiencing a book on even a colorful gadget like the latest iPad… There’s something about the reflectiveness of certain glossy illustrations, certain muted B&W vintage photos — all the variety of textures, some almost three-dimensional — which only high-quality paper and printing can provide. Right away, one sees images one has ALWAYS WANTED TO SEE, but never quite realized until one actually sees them! Page 13 is a great, albeit sub-x-rated, example…. Paintings can often be much “better” than real life, or even the technically “best” photography, in the sense that they communicate a dreaminess and evocativeness, a sense of longing, that perhaps arises from curves and shadows that instinctively romanticize hard-edged architecture, objects, and signage from our American heritage. In this book, so many utopian visions from the past have been captured and consolidated by paintings which imbue the subject matter with a powerful emotion of hoped-for social perfection. Most of the major technological icons of the 20th century landscape are herein immortalized for future generations to wonder at, and speculate about… This book is a beautiful gem of Memory and Mystery…
– Mark Ryden: The Snow Yak Show. This hardbound book is so large that, fortunately, it will NEVER be captured by an iPad, future or present — unless said device is capable of instantly projecting gigantic images on the nearest white wall. Even then, just turning the pages, and examining the imagery at a close distance, is a pleasurably engaging experience not translatable to the digital/virtual realm… Each page turning elicits the subvocal response of “Wow!,” beginning with the mysterious endpapers printed on thick cardstock. The Japanese kanji add another dimension of geographical transcendence — tiny subtle gray lettering hints that the artwork to follow is from a higher plane: “Spirit is a land of high, white peaks and glittering jewel-like lakes and flowers. Life is sparse and sounds travel great distances.” (The Dalai Lama)… The next image presents deep, unfathomable eyes — you could never bear to look into any human’s eyes for an hour straight — but you could look into THESE EYES with impunity. What a beautiful world we live in — or could live in — if only there were about 9,999% fewer people, at the minimum… Painters like Mark Ryden create worlds for us to live in — their visions captured on canvas constitute a temptation which, if indulged in extremis, can surely lead to madness. Or perhaps the world we live in NOW is the true madness… (reviews dashed out by V. Vale)
6. Concert Review of Public Image Limited by John C. Sulak
I saw Public Image Limited (Pil) play in San Francisco on Saturday, April 17th, at the Regency Center on Van Ness. I almost didn’t go; advance tickets were fifty bucks and there were an additional 12 or 13 dollars in service charges. But at the last minute I decided to buy a ticket at the door. The show was billed as “An Evening With Public Image Limited,” which meant that there was no opening act, PiL started on time and they played for a full two hours. It ended up being a fantastic experience that exceeded any expectations I had for it.
John Lydon, singer and founder of Pil, looked and sounded great. There are all sorts of clips of thisreunion tour on Youtube, including the SF show, but there is nothing like being there in person. Public Image was LOUD, clean and tight. This is Pil’s first tour in 17 years. They played extended, and often danceable, versions of songs from all phases of their career. As I watched Lydon I thought about how he used to look when he was younger, with his spiky hair and sneer; He was sarcastic, insulting to audiences and always seemed angry about what was going on. His hair is now even spikier. But he has a friendly, if impish, grin and seemed happy to be on stage singing again, working with talented musicians and in a town that loves him.
Lydon, of course, has a long history with San Francisco. On January 14, 1978, as Johnny Rotten, he played at Winterland at what ended up being the final Sex Pistols gig. (Winterland is gone now but was located just 8 blocks west of the Regency Center.) At the end of that night he famously asked the audience, “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” No one felt that way at the Regency Center – this time he thanked the crowd for being so respectful! There were moments when he even encouraged them to sing along.
Lydon has returned to the City many times since then, most notably in 1984, when Pil played at a book release party for “RE/SEARCH 8/9: J.G. BALLARD.” It was in one of the dock warehouses at Fort Mason. There were live S&M scenarios (featuring Fakir Musafar, Monte Cazazza, Noni Howard, Kristine Ambrosia, Luna Discussion, et al) for people to check out as soon as they walked in. Further inside there were two wrecked automobiles that V. Vale had procured from a junkyard and mounted on top of each other like copulating bugs. It was a tribute to Ballard’s novel “Crash,” and was complete with a nurse and car crash victims covered in blood. Later a ram-car constructed by Survival Research Labs was brought in to assault the vehicles. The whole time there were multi-media projections of horrific images of forensic pathology on the walls. A TV showed a homemade video of car crashes montaged with porn in-and-out close-ups. There were huge, beautiful B&W blowups of images from RE/Search #8/9 on the walls. And then, after all that, Public Image came out and played their set.
Malcolm McLaren’s recent death revived the discussion of the early days of Punk, and of who really deserved credit for the Sex Pistols’ sound and image. But at the Regency Center on April 17th, all that mattered was that Lydon has survived and continued to grow as a person and an artist, and has remaining true to his punk roots and aesthetics. And for those who were there to experience it, this was yet another historic concert in San Francisco.
For more info about this and other Pil shows, including live videos and interviews, check out the band’s website: http://www.pilofficial.com/info.html
7. RECOMMENDED LINKS (send some!)
() from phil g:
– Lenny lives! – http://www.glatz.com/blog/al-and-lenny-brothers-under-skin
() from Mako Sano:
– Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia
– Brotherhood of Eternal Love: www.druglibrary.net/schaffer/lsd/books/bel5.htm
() from Karen: www.wimp.com/catbag
() from Moritz C, Germany: http://congress.nskstate.com
And I found the anti-religious text, which really is a good read:
() “Talking Is Not Thinking. Talking Is Talking.” – V. Vale
() “Every minute on your cellphone/computer is one minute less you could be talking and gazing at someone you love. Change your priorities!” – V. Vale
() sent by Mako Sano: Ambrose Bierce’s definition of “ART, n.
This word has no definition. Its origin is related as follows by the ingenious Father Gassalasca Jape, S.J.
One day a wag — what would the wretch be at? –
Shifted a letter of the cipher RAT,
And said it was a god’s name! Straight arose
Fantastic priests and postulants (with shows,
And mysteries, and mummeries, and hymns,
And disputations dire that lamed their limbs)
To serve his temple and maintain the fires,
Expound the law, manipulate the wires.
Amazed, the populace that rites attend,
Believe whate’er they cannot comprehend,
And, inly edified to learn that two
Half-hairs joined so and so (as Art can do)
Have sweeter values and a grace more fit
Than Nature’s hairs that never have been split,
Bring cates and wines for sacrificial feasts,
And sell their garments to support the priests.
9. Letters from Readers:
() “Hello friends, I can’t tell you how happy I am that after seven long years, ATOMIC MOM is officially done!! The World Premiere will be at the Mill Valley Film Festival on Sun, Oct 10, 5:45pm. I hope to see many of you there!” (support local filmmakers)
SEPTEMBER 2010 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & other contributors. Newsletter and website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com.
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