RE/SEARCH, 20 Romolo #B, San Francisco CA 94133 | Call 415.362.1465 |


eNewsletter #14, February 2001


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February is the shortest month of the year and so is this newsletter, mainly because we have been nose-to-the-grindstone finishing up our new book. ‘Nuff said.DOT-CON RANT

While I will eternally blame the dot-con gold rush for wrecking San Francisco’s real estate for artists and causing a mass exodus of the very people who make the city worth staying in, nevertheless for five minutes I almost felt sorry for all the artists I know who lost their jobs after having pulled in great salaries at dotcons. Some of them are still hired, of course. Finally amazon, the poster child for the dot-con gold rush, is acknowledging its human frailty and has given up its new high-tech distribution center (lost millions on that), plus fired 1,300 people — the first of many such firings, one speculates. They’ve lost something like $3.3 billion to date, and last quarter lost something like $600 million, so we can’t feel sorry for them yet. I was touched that amazon allocated the paltry sum of $2.5 million as a “carrot-and-stick” incentive for their employees, who may be waking up to the joys of unionization and the harsh reality that working at a “New Economy” job is just like working at an “Old Economy” one, in the $12-14/hour range. If amazonworkers stick it out til 2003 and THEN get fired–pardon me, “laid off,” they’ll get some kind of severance package, whooey! And it was so munificent of amazon to revoke their “non-disparagement termination clause”–in order to get full severance benefits, employees had to sign a contract not to disparage the company! Still, it was once a good idea to give employees stock; all employees should own the companies they work for.

As far as dot-com futures go, the Wall Street Journal put it: “The Great Net Shakeout was supposed to have a silver lining…the survivors would move forward and prosper. It isn’t working out that way…Those left standing look shaky. Even has its share of skeptics…Underneath it all, they are clashing with the fundamentals of economics–supply and demand, income and expenses.” [Jan 25, 2001] Well, finally!

By the way, two of the latest artists to be forced to leave San Francisco (evictions) are Seth Maxwell Malice and Chico McMurtry, a well-known machine performance artist.


Friday, February 2, 10 pm-1am: Mr Lucky backed by Ralph Carney, Raoul Joshua Brody, Kevin Mummey, Matt Brubeck, at the Club Deluxe!! 1511 Haight Street, S.F.

Friday, Feb 2, 7:30 PM: COMET magazine benefit poetry reading at Escape from NY Pizza, 333 Bush/Montgomery. $5 includes free pizza. COMET is the best new local alternative-arts publication. Their first issue had an intv with yours truly, V. Vale, by the way. They are raising funds to publish their second.

Saturday, FEB 3: In an ideal world, this is what I would attend: 4-7PM, Atlas Cafe, 20th/Alabama. Have a light supper and watch Frank Novicki’s Hawaiian Steel Guitar group (be sure to tip them; the cafe doesn’t pay them). Then at 7 PM go to Cellspace, Florida bet. 18th-19th Sts and participate in the RECLAIMING Brigid ritual. Afterwards, go to Winston Smith’s opening (7-11 PM) at Culture Cache Gallery, 731 Florida #102 (bet. 19th-20th). It’s all within a 3-block walking distance!

FEB 3: PUNK REUNION PARTY (of sorts). Dirk Dirksen, Ginger Coyote, the reunion of the CONTRACTIONS, an early all-woman punk band. Benefit for HEAR, of which Contractions original Kathy Peck is a prime mover! Also on bill: Polkacide, Meri St. Mary, etc. Paradise Lounge, 308 11th St. San Francisco, CA 94103, phone 415.861.6906

FEB 10 & FEB 17, 8 PM: Yerba Buena Center, Mission/3rd St, S.F. Rare, restored Andy Warhol films at Yerba Buena Center “screening room” (capacity: 96): Feb 10: Couch, with Kerouac, Corso, Ginsberg, Taylor Mead, etc. Feb 17: Imitation of Christ, with Nico, Taylor Mead, Ondine, Brigid Berlin, etc. I haven’t seen these, but apparently these date from the pre-Valerie Solanis shooting, so they’re probably good. It’s my theory that Andy Warhol’s body was taken over by an alien entity in the emergency room, a member of the mass alliance of alien entities trying to kill our planet by exalting the profit motive above everything else. But EARLY Warhol–almost everything is great, and recommended. Films like these are very hard to see (not on video yet), so consider yourself lucky if you can attend.

Through Feb 10: Catherine Clark Gallery, 49 Geary, S.F.: new art by Don Ed Hardy (tattoo artist featured in our Modern Primitives book)

Feb 16-19: PANTHEACON AT Cathedral Hill Hotel go for full info. This is one of the biggest gatherings in the USA, it only happens once a year, and it’s here in S.F.! Again, Pagans have the best social program for dealing with our future death, of any religious/philosophical group I’ve encountered. Talk about “How to Prepare for Death” — they do it, eyes wide open.

FEB 17,18: FORT MASON, HERBST PAVILION, ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO. meet V. Vale (hate referring to myself in the 3rd person) and Charles Gatewood. Yes, we will be there and we welcome you to hang out with us, show us some of your portable art, etc. So naturally, we hope to see YOU there because we’ll be there. This is a great place to get “your kind of books” discounted, by the way — all the RE/Search titles will be discounted, of course.

FREE: At least at the beginning of February, the Yerba Buena Center was free to anyone with an S.F. library card! (I, of course, remember when ALL the S.F. museums and the zoo were free.)

WED, FEB 21: Blind Tiger, 787 Broadway/Powell, 9-2, $5. Our friend Nix and her boyfriend Brian Stewart are opening their new club. Opening night features “dreamy electronica electro funk new wave robot porn soundtracks etc.” If this is your cup of tea, you know what to do!

SAT FEB 24: Cellspace, 2050 Bryant/18th-19th Sts, 8-12 PM, KAL SPELLETICH alerts me that THE SEEMEN, San Francisco’s machine performance group, is staging a rare event. Excitement is guaranteed. $10 or sliding scale. Kal tells me he is reading the Letters of Marcel Duchamp now (that’s a recommendation; anything by Duchamp is worth studying).

SAT FEB 24: Culture Cache, 731 Florida/20th St, 8 PM. Voodoo Las Vegas: “Through sabotage, trickery and help from the juju spirit, Help us bugger the be-jeebees out of the superpower!” Spoken word, performance, voodoo rituals starring Monique (from the Dont’s, an early S.F. punk performance group) and friends. $5 sliding scale.

Sorry to say we missed bell hooks Feb 1, Thursday night, at Intersection. If somebody saw her, please send us your report!


Next week we are positively sending to press our new book. It contains four in-depth interviews, with Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, Billy Childish and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Finally! It’s titled REAL CONVERSATIONS No. 1. This book represents a return to our harder-core roots and beginnings–preserving the prankish humor, of course. In keeping with the current economic trend of downsizing, it will be in a smaller format, 4×7″ (pocket size) but will pack a lot of inspirational “value” into a small package– 280 pages.


For some reason in January, we didn’t spend a lot of time reading books-probably because I was desperately trying to finish up the next RE/Search book. The two books I did read were:

CULTURE JAM by Kalle Lasn. This may be a bit hard to find in stores, but is worth the hunt, as it is densely packed with statistics and ideas against “The Control Process” (advertising, branding, corporate business practices, consumer database mastery, etc). Excellent bibliography with commentary, too. Any lover of the situationist legacy will find much to ponder, and will be directed to even more books!

TURNED ON: A Biography of Henry Rollins by British author James Parker. Although marred by occasional purple prose, it is full of facts and figures. I especially found the section on Lydia Lunch and Henry to be intriguing, and the history of Henry’s spoken word tours. More than meets the eye here. Even if you’re not a hardcore Henry Rollins fan, this book has a lot of “counterculture lifestyle” tips and examples that could enrich almost anybody’s existence. All of us, after all, are trying to live without “working for the man” as little as possible.

Jello Biafra’s newest 3-CD set, BECOME THE MEDIA, is just out and is highly recommended. He just keeps going and keeps going and doesn’t stop, and the facts he uncovers are both disgusting and enlightening. Available at Aquarius Records. Check out His recent No WTO COMBO CD–Jello was in a band for four days and this is the result! Again, Biafra continues to amaze, provoke and disrupt, as the next RE/Search book will once again re-establish. Glad he’s still out there being the gadfly. Biafra reminds us that all the laid-off dot-com workers will just get jobs at established behemoths like Intel, Cisco, and Microsoft — so don’t think San Francisco realty will suddenly be copacetic next month!

Luis Bunuel’s Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie just came out on DVD, which is great. What I’m interested in seeing is the DOCUMENTARY that’s also on the DVD! Highly recommended. Bunuel is my favorite filmmaker.

Jean-Jacques Perrey’s latest CD is out — from the 70-year-old master who still hasn’t lost his touch! It’s titled Circus of Life, and may have to be ordered direct from Germany. We’ve heard it at least a dozen times, mainly because it’s our daughter Valentine’s favorite new CD–she calls it the “Music of the Future record!” Email Also, we hope Jean-Jacques will visit here again soon.

J.G. Ballard bibliography site listing tantalizing spoken word Ballard works on audiocassettes! Imagine driving in your car, listening to CRASH! Hmmm…. If anyone has any of these or knows where to find them, please contact me!

Below is a list of articles, etc, I read on the Internet, and certainly hope they’re still up so you can enjoy them too. Again, all newsletter readers are welcome to send us recommended sites and I’ll do my best to pass them along. If you liked the below, let me know. Giving credit where it’s due: thanks to friends Phil G, Chris T, Violet Poe and others for forwarding some of the below URLS with their comments:

electronic devices result in less sex!

greeting card from Jean-Jacques Perrey and Lisa Haugen, his manager check out City Lights Bookstore’s free events calendar!

photos of beats, etc by elsa dorfman

one of many obituaries on Gregory Corso. He only wrote a few books but the words fairly blaze on the page 9 at his best). Check him out; he definitely was an original.

how the wealthy got that way

Tuxedo Moon is still “somewhat” alive and well and playing a show in Rome. Steven Brown lives in Mexico City — ran into him a year or so ago; he looked well. It’s always strange when you run into someone you know in a huge “foreign” city.

beat books site

taxidermy, odd site

suggest you subscribe to the c-theory newsletter. you’ll see why after you read this one. – daily newsletter

weird religion dept. not for everyone

this from Joe Frank – fascinating stuff

“that’s why they call them instruments”

more on the death of dotcom

I’ve just been listening to a hilarious John Waters interview – Cecil B. Demented is out on DVD now!

Learn the physics of semiconductors, with Britney Spears.

Dig the dope diatribes of the coolest cosmologist this side of Cambridge.

it’s been around forever, and most of us have already seen it, but it continues to mistify, stupify, and putrify…

Preference Metrics: Accounting for Taste(TM). Try Sleeper: A new framework for recommending books. For more information … – this is interesting to those of us into “The Control Process”

Here’s some fun for the whole family. 1. Go to 2. type in ‘dumb motherfucker’ in the search field. Subtle culturejamming? See how it was done

hoax of the day: fake scientific research. Some interesting projects, fer sure.

the Dubya pop-culture begins.

IF YOU GOT THIS FAR AND WANT MORE – LET US KNOW! (this is about half of what I trolled)


I always appreciate feedback and try to pass it along when relevant, i.e.: “Your website, re book Incredibly Strange Music, states:…TINY TIM wrote an autobiography published by Playboy Press. Not so. Peace, Janet.” Well, Thanks Janet! If you know who the publisher WAS and the exact title, please tell me. This is one book I never got, and now I really want to find a copy! If anyone has an “extra” copy…..


“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” – Oscar Wilde

“Bad people drive the good people out of your life.” – Rev. Ike. (famous for his chant in the 70s: “Money you are welcome in my life!”)


In January, I missed an issue of the Wall Street Journal with an important article on the techniques executive recruiters use to locate prey: back-flipping, et al. If someone has this, please mail me a xerox of it, or email us the text. We are planning a future project and very much need this!


V. Vale

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