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

V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #54, November 2006



1.   SAT NOV 11: RE/SEARCH PRANKSFEST – PRANKS 2 Book PARTY, 7pm (doors “open” 6:30pm) at S.F. Art Institute, 800 Chestnut St/Jones, S.F. RE/Search’s new PRANKS 2 book is finally here!

2.   Sat Nov 11, 2006, 6:30pm: RE/Search presents the COUNTER CULTURE HOUR featuring underground filmmaker/demigod George Kuchar. Channel 29 (S.F. only), 6:30pm

3.   LOS ANGELES: Sat Nov 18 at Beyond Baroque, Venice CA – JIHAD JERRY, REVEREND AL and FRANK DISCUSSION appear at the RE/Search Pranksfest in L.A. Panel plus rare videos, audience Q&A, etc. 7pm.

4.   What We’ve Attended: DEVO with JIHAD JERRY (Oct 28, S.F.)

5.   What We’ve Been Listening To, Reading, etc… Andy Warhol. Stephane’s CD recommendations. Jello Biafra’s New Spoken Word 3-CD Box Set: “In the Grip of Official Treason.”

6.   Recommended Links – thanks to: You Know Who You Are


8.   J.G. BALLARD NEWS: new novel Kingdom Come released September, 2006! (order from

9.   Feedback from Readers



1.   Sat, Nov 11, 2006 – 7 PM sharp (“doors open” 6:30pm)

PRANKSFEST celebrating RE/Search’s new book, PRANKS 2

San Francisco ART INSTITUTE, 800 Chestnut/Jones, S.F.  tel 415-362-1465

Admission $5 (but if you buy the new PRANKS 2 book, you get in free!).  From 6:30pm on there will be a “party” at the S.F.A.I. Cafe (with accompanying fantastic city views on the adjacent plaza).

PARTY, SHOW AND SPECTACLE: Due to the “illegal” nature of Pranks, key speakers from the Billboard Liberation Front, etc, may be in disguise! Ex-hacker Marc Powell, Babalou from SRL, Cacophony Society’s Chris Radcliffe, and Prankster-Godfather MAL SHARPE will show their real faces (we think). Rare and inspiring pranks video clips will be narrated live, and questions from the audience will be taken. Cyclecide will bring a demo-cycle. Event is still being planned; other guests/events TBA.

Videos will include Mal Sharpe’s new prank DVD release (excerpt), a special Billboard Liberation Front clip, Jihad Jerry and the Evildoers’ “Army Girls Gone Wild,” Reverend Al’s “Art of Bleeding Safety Film,” and excerpts from Ron English’s “Popaganda,” the “Yes Men” Film, the Cyclecide film, and Scott Beale’s “You’d Better Watch Out” documenting the Cacophony Society’s wild “Santarchy” escapade in Portland. (For the past ten years, groups of folks dressed up as Santa Claus have invaded department stores, hotel parties and other events, causing ideological havoc and consumer confusion–anarchic fun! Over the years, the Santas have spread to major cities over the planet.)

Far more than a video show, the Nov. 11 evening will encompass a Mad Celebration, Reunion, party, Panel, and Q&A’s with local Bay Area artists who appear in RE/Search’s newest book, PRANKS 2. All interested in RE/Search’s 30 year history, pranks, and cultural subversion in general are urged to attend and meet-and-greet featured pranksters both before and after the show.  Hard-to-find RE/Search Publications will be available for sale, and can be autographed, as well as other pranks-related videos, CDs and books.

Mal Sharpe will autograph his new “These 2 Men Are Imposters” 2-CD, 1-DVD Box set capturing the genius of Coyle & Sharpe, profiled in RE/Search’s first PRANKS book. Mal Sharpe is the guest emcee, along with RE/Search founder V. Vale. Local computer whiz Marc Powell will give a visual historic presentation on “hacking” and its future potential for social change.

“In today’s current surreal political landscape, a well-executed prank can do much more than yelling theater in a crowded fire! In that spirit, RE/Search and [S.F.A.I.] present the Pranks Festival. This is a rare opportunity to engage with prankster pioneers, while supporting the counterculture RE/Search publishing team.” — Boing Boing [modified quote]

RE/Search’s new “PRANKS 2” book is now available from www. or call 415-362-1465 to order! Review copies are available; email (8×10″, 196pp, 200 photos, glossy paper, $19.99)


Our thanks to Mark Van Proyen for sponsoring this event. Please note that Nov. 11 PRANKSFEST S.F. is still being planned, so we hope to have other surprises.


2.   Sat Nov 11, 2006, 6:30pm: RE/Search presents the COUNTER CULTURE HOUR featuring underground filmmaker/demigod George Kuchar. Channel 29 (S.F. only), 6:30pm. George Kuchar offers numerous low-budget tips and suggestions for wannabe filmmakers, plus recounting his times with John Waters, Andy Warhol, Jonas Mekas, and other cultural luminaries. This is an inspiring interview with a legendary artist. (Set your VCR to record this, and come to our Nov 11 party at the S.F. Art Institute for PRANKS 2!)


The Counter Culture Hour airs the 2nd Saturday of each month, 6:30pm, Cable Channel 29, San Francisco. If anyone can help show it elsewhere, please contact us: It runs 58:30. We’re especially interested in public screenings and television venues that pay (yes, we are looking for an agent).


3.   Sat, Nov 18, 7pm – LOS ANGELES:

PRANKSFEST L.A. celebrating RE/Search’s new book, PRANKS 2

Sat, Nov 18, 2006 – 7:30 PM (doors open 6:30pm)

Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291  tel 310-822-3006

$10 (includes $5 coupon towards purchase of an autographed PRANKS 2 book)

PARTY, Film Show, Panel/Q&A and Spectacle featuring:

() Rare & Inspiring Pranks Video Clips & Visual Presentations.

PANEL/Q&A with:

() Reverend Al (L.A. Cacophony Society; Art of Bleeding)

() Frank Discussion (Feederz’ founder, Punk Rock band since 1977)

() JIHAD JERRY (formerly Jerry Casale, founder of DEVO).

() Host: V. Vale, RE/Search founder.

The evening will encompass a Mad Celebration, Reunion, Party, Film Showing, Panel Discussion, and Q&A with 3 local Los Angeles artists who appear in RE/Search’s newest book, PRANKS 2. Panelists will explain their “philosophy of Pranks” and answer questions from the audience. Rare videos will be screened and commented on by the three panelists, who will also explain their “philosophy of pranks” and answer questions from the audience. All interested in RE/Search’s 30 year history, pranks, and cultural subversion in general are urged to attend. Hard-to-find RE/Search Publications will be available for sale, and can be autographed. Reverend Al, Frank Discussion and Gerald V. Casale will be present to autograph copies of PRANKS 2 and offer their rare CDs, videos, etc. Reverend Al has promised to bring his “Art of Bleeding” Ambulance. More unexpected fun and guests TBA?


4.   What “We’ve” Attended: DEVO with JIHAD JERRY at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, S.F., Oct 28, 2006. 6:30pm-11pm.


At the last minute we were able to see DEVO in San Francisco’s largest downtown venue. Live 105 Radio produced the event as an “Eighties” show also featuring Bow Wow Wow, Flock of Seagulls, When in Rome, and Animotion. Mercifully, the first four bands each played about 25-minute sets, and the set changes were done remarkably fast and efficiently, in less than ten minutes per. The venue was large enough so that earplugs were not absolutely required, although the sound was fully engaging, especially in the bass registers.

Having not heard “live” Rock Music (whatever that is, nowadays) for some time, it seemed to us that the introductory bands were presented in the “right” order of increasing complexity, mastery and entertainment value…we liked ’em all, on some level. The opening act, Animotion, was… an opening act, featuring a male and female vocalist–hopeful, cheerful, not yet jaded and trying to find themselves while writing “catchy,” rather normal and pleasant songs. Nothing ground-breaking here, but nothing totally obnoxious, either… Not too cloying…

If you liked Joy Division, you might like When in Rome, featuring a somewhat bizarre lead singer/booty shaker (he looked a little like Black Randy from the L.A. Punk Seventies) and his all-synth backup trio… They wore black suits, and the singer inexplicably took off his suit coat to reveal a somewhat shocking sleeveless white dress shirt — maybe Banana Republic should feature that in an ad. (I mean, he should have kept the coat on.) Their songs had beautiful melodies and harmonies, but needed more sonic variety, dynamics and rhythmic propulsiveness–a wild card or two. Synth drums will never equal a living inventive drummer, and no samples can equal a “real” string instrument being twanged, tweaked and abused “live.” Still, a really good job of re-channeling and diluting angst from those mournful Mancunian masters of suicidal musings…

Bow Wow Wow’s Annabelle was the living embodiment of perkiness — “Are you having fun, San Francisco?” — especially her natural-as-breathing dancing, leaping and cross-stepping. While her lyrics were less than magisterial, they were, y’know, kinda FUN. Mostly Relationship Songs. She embodied the “girl persona” – not really sexy, just fun and energetic; more like a pre-’80s cheerleader for a Jamaican bobsled team… Abruptly there came a strip-tease moment when she took her skirt off — what was underneath was no more revealing than the skirt itself. The veteran guitarist and shaven-headed bassist displayed a full spectrum of dynamics and metallic tonality, in marked contrast to the previous all-synth band. And we got to see a clip from Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” for which they played their anthemic “I Want Candy.”

Flock of Seagulls went down in history for the lead singer’s 80’s hairdo, which sadly was completely squashed down/concealed by a head-flattening newsboy cap. They played about 30 minutes, and every song sounded professional, yet confinedly and acceptably tasteful and correct. We kept wondering if the singer had lost his hair, and if he had, why didn’t he go the Andy Warhol route and wear a wig?

Finally, DEVO. An amazing, funny, sexy, and witty video collage edited by Gerald V. Casale started DEVO’s climactic part of the show. The collage occasionally excerpted earlier DEVO videos, but everything was edited super-fast and tight with lots of subliminal and suggestive sex imagery–genuinely titillating. Onstage was a special lighting setup which intermittently flashed the letters for “DEVO” with red lights interspersed. Before the introductory video had ended, the five band members (four originals: Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale, and their younger brothers Bob and Bob; plus contrapuntal drummer extraordinaire Josh Freese) raced onstage in the darkness and started playing in a perfectly synched segue merging with the video’s prerecorded “outro” music.

A parade of DEVO‘s best songs followed, sounding better than on any official or bootleg DEVO album to date. Best of all was the witty commentary between songs (“Did De-evolution really happen? Well, just look at our President!” “Every day is Halloween for DEVO.”). Our favorite visual moment came when an Osama bin Laden “clone” slowly walked behind the band like a sleepwalker, then returned to the other side — like, what was HE doing there? It seemed straight out of a dream…

As contemporary art, culture and politics are inextricably mixed, DEVO’s political commentary was up-to-the-minute, and it seemed like their songs had been written just yesterday. “Freedom of Choice” – use it or lose it – seems totally apropos now that the American voting majority has been brainwashed by Fox News and the Christian Right. “Mongoloid” seems more relevant than when it first came out. We had forgotten how athletic the DEVO stage act really is, with its complex synchronized robotic dance routines.

The surprise came at the end when JIHAD JERRY (Jerry Casale’s latest musical project) showed himself in turban, sunglasses and zoot suit and sang a truly beautiful version of “Beautiful World” – another song which seems tailored for today. This Jihad Jerry interpretation of the song deserves to be re-recorded and re-released as a new hit tune. Including their four encores, DEVO (including Jihad) played for a satisfying 90 minutes, ending at 11pm. Well worth sitting through the first four bands…

In a bizarre epilogue, after the DEVO concert we went to Absinthe (398 Hayes St), then the Cafe Du Nord for a DEVO tribute band, MONGOLOID – they were great! It must have been strange for DEVO members (who attended) to see this band firsthand, a few feet away. Afterwards, we went to the Homestead, a perfectly-recreated New Orleans Forties Bar at Folsom/19th St, San Francisco. Great jukebox, beautiful 60s nude paintings, gorgeous vintage cash register (!), classic tin ceiling, maroon velvet drapes, and it feels like entering the Twilight Zone… which is a good thing. Your hostsRaub and Johanna are, well, special…

Jerry recommended the film “Irreversible,” “The Death of a President,” “Last King of Scotland” (about Idi Amin: “Nothing is funny. You make me laugh–I kill you!”), the first season of the TV series “Deadwood” (“It’s the survival of the fittest. Everybody’s corrupt. When one character has to pass a gallstone–wow…”) and the second season of “The Sopranos.” We were trying to dream up more DEVO rules/bylaws/syllogisms/hypotheses: Adapt and Win. As you live longer, you will know less. Rules were made to be broken…


5.   What We’ve Been Listening To, Reading, etc… Andy Warhol is still on our mind, sparked by the PBS airing of that Ric Burns documentary. One acquaintance was relieved that there wasn’t any “Andy-bashing” in the documentary, because she was under the impression that some people felt Warhol had “ruined art.”


Now to “Wednesday” who wrote about Warhol in our last newsletter, Stephane von Stephane wrote:

“Sounds like you are a huge Warhol fan. I too think he is great. Definitely one of the last century’s outstanding artists. I was all excited to watch 2 hours, 2 nights of Warhol. Got my popcorn all ready, some beer and looked forward to adulation of sixties counter-culture cool. Instead we get this negative, sad, almost vindictive look that was such a downer. I couldn’t even bring myself to eat the popcorn. {drank the beer though} … I’ve heard PBS had been infiltrated by the religious right in the not too distant past, and I wonder who produced this doc. and where the money came from, who edited it, etc.

“For me the overall impression was that the point of view was almost that Warhol deserved to be shot because of the ‘craziness’ he encouraged all around him. Like, “That’s what you get for not taking responsibility for all the druggy nut-cases you invite into your space and exploit.” It pissed me off. And your observation that they left out a lot of his actual friends…(was it because they wanted money?) I never got to meet or be in the same room as Andy, but I know someone who was a good friend of his towards the end. (That would be Debbie Harry, who fell into a deep depression after he died.) Also, I have met Pope Ondine, Taylor Mead, Sylvia Myles, and a couple of others who I can’t even remember now….Nico…..

“Anyway, I’d like to see the Superstar thing, I don’t think I’ve seen that. Just overall, I wanted to express that it seems history is being revised even as we speak and who knows where it could lead. Thanks for agreeing to read my rant. – S.v.S.”

Wednesday replied:

” had a full weekend so I cannot even find the energy right now to respond to your email. However, I think the documentary was produced without the help or influence of PBS. IMDB shows the list of producers.

“This is the doc’s site at PBS:

“It has a link to the Ric Burns discussion:

“I didn’t hate the documentary, but I kept seeing what was missing. I guess I feel that my interpretation about Warhol’s image is solely from books such as autobiographies or a few movies. I’ve read Holly Woodlawn’s and Joe Dallesandro’s books and watched Andy Warhol: Superstar and Pie in the Sky. I love what was going on in NYC in the 60s whether it be involving Dylan or Leonard Cohen or the Velvet Underground or any art scenes. I’m a fan of the John Cale and Lou Reed musical tribute to Warhol, Songs for Drella. I hope you go to the next RE/Search event in San Francisco [Sat Nov 11, S.F. Art Institute, 7pm] and introduce yourself to me… – Best regards, Wednesday”

() Stephane von Stephane also highly recommends for your November listening pleasures:

“Soft Life for Killers by FM Fatale

“There WILL be sex in the champagne room when you put on this CD! My only criticism is that it’s too short. These two (Dave Dayneko-beats, sounds, arrangements & Hillary Gay-vocals and keys) have applied the old adage of ‘leave ’em wanting more’ to perfection. This is sultry ambient electronica at its best. The standout hit “Sugar (on your lips)” is one of those songs that sticks in your brain (in a good way). You want to hear it over and over, and this can only be cured by buying the CD and

playing it over and over. [I’ve been taking this cure all week] Go to for a sample (if you dare…’cause I’m tellin’ ya you WILL want more!) And luckily more can be had December 7th at the Red Devil Lounge 1695 Polk St. S.F. CA when FM Fatale has their cd. release party. See you there.

() “AND if Jazz is more your thing: Two Rooms Same Door by Sarah Manning

“This live CD is the second offering from this amazing young alto sax player. It  was recorded at Yoshi’s in downtown Oakland a year ago this month and has just been released by artistShare. artistShare is an internet-only venture that encourages listeners to participate in ‘watching’ the development of the musicians. Go to to learn more and buy the CD. This just in: artistShare has submitted Two Rooms Same Door for Grammy consideration. I have been saying since I first saw this woman performing at Jupiter a few years ago that I don’t know why she is not an international superstar by now. I think she is that good. So, I would suggest that y’all get down to Jupiter at 2181 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley CA on the evening of Saturday November 18th to see her for free before she goes big time on us. (It won’t be

the same line-up as on the CD, but will still amaze.) Also, (“…a little classical music for you kids…”)  Lou Reed performs in Redwood City at the Fox Theatre 7:30 Tues Nov 7th. Peace/Out, S.v.S.”

() Jello Biafra’s 3-CD Spoken Word Box: In the Grip of Official Treason. Artwork features incredible Katrina flood photos (snapped by Biafra himself), gorgeous Winston Smith color collages, a great folded insert of a B&W collage by Biafra with a great list of websites of activist organizations (“Stay Informed! Get Involved!”) on the flipside below another stunning color Winston Smith collage. There’s full track listings, credits, and the ordering info: Alternative Tentacles Church of Defiantology, POB 419092, San Francisco CA 94141-9092,  Biafra is up to the minute on these spoken word recordings, mostly done in the past few months – great to listen to in the car or while doing the dishes. Biafra has been unheralded as a collage artist and photographer in his own right, but someday he should have his own book…


6.   Recommended Links:


() Irving Klaw:

() Jack Chick takes on the Masons leaving no stone unturned! – this could be his fatal mistake – the wrath of masonry is mighty!

() The latest Improv Everywhere mission took place on the set of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.  Check out the report, photos, and video:

() Hey Gil Ray fans, The long-awaited solo album from my sweet hubby is almost here! Check out the front cover on the 125 Records blog… – Wheee! -Stac-

() He talks in his sleep: Outsider artist – one of a kind – there is a heated argument whether he is real or a hoaxster; but if it is a hoax, he is one of the great poets of our time.  wild story – follow all the links

() blood eagles, brazen bulls, and other gruesome forms of torture – thank goodness we are civilized now


“The town of El Cajon, a half-hour drive east of San Diego, hosts the headquarters of “The Unarius Academy of Science,” which has “provided factual and scientific information about the reality of humankind existing on other worlds and the tremendous, positive global changes that will result from contacts with extraterrestrials – the Space Brothers.”

“Recently we met an older woman there who might be the reincarnation of Atahualpa, the last leader of the Incas.  She told us bout “the 32 planets of the Interplanetary Confederation” and how they revere Nicola Tesla and his technology. They have a plastic mock-up of a futuristic city with a huge Tesla coil in the center, distributing free electricity to everyone. She said that Jesus comes back every 1,000 years and his most recent incarnation was Tesla. I was thinking how their beliefs were no more outlandish than those of most religions.

“I picked up some free literature… There is information on “the cosmic plasma universe” and how a starship from the planet Myton would be landing in 2001 (this was an old brochure). As far as I know, it never landed but it might have been cloudy that day. If you have time for fourth-dimensional physics or the electrodynamic process of the mind and brain/body system, this is for you.  Did I mention interdimensional isotopes and the wind (like, blowing in)?

“Meanwhile, the 23rd Interplanetary Conclave of Light was October 13-15.  This includes a “power-packed dove release and interplanetary process” involving a blue Cadillac with a flying saucer on top.  You’ll be happy to know “the future of planet Earth is positive!”  For more info go to

() Lydia Lunch forwarded an article claiming the George W. Bush is moving toward martial law: Is this why Lydia now lives in Barcelona?!  BTW, Lydia has a brand new 32-track CD retrospective release (her greatest hits?) titled DEVIATIONS ON A THEME — go to to get a copy. It contains a video clip, biography, press quotes, career highlights, lyrics and press photos. Or write Provocateur Media, Oliv, 2123 Bruvoll, Norway.

() Godzilla vs. the Condoleezzard:

() new animation by John K.

() He had an unfortunate tendency to laugh at funerals:



“Anybody can do what I do.” – Andy Warhol

“With videotape we can do instant retakes and maintain our spontaneity and mood. It’s terrific!” – Warhol

“It’s more fun looking than buying.” – V.W.

“Whenever you have a choice to do something, do what YOU want to do.” – V.W.

RE Taschen & Chronicle Books: “What’s happening is the television-ization of books.”


“Of course we are meat, we are potential carcasses. If I go into a butcher shop I always think it’s surprising that I wasn’t there instead of the animal.” – Francis Bacon

“Put me on your DO NOT CALL list!” (what to say to a telemarketer – Justin H.)

“I like all paintings.” – Warhol

“You could have a machine that paints all day long for you and do it really well, and you could do something else instead.” – Warhol

“I just wear the same thing every day.” – Andy

“People will remember you better if you always wear the same outfit.” – David Byrne


8.   J.G. Ballard News: (Order J.G. Ballard’s new novel, Kingdom Come from – it’s not published in the U.S.A. Ordering from Canada may be cheaper than ordering from the U.K.) Also,we recommend you order RE/Search’s J.G. Ballard Conversations book from http://www.



9.   Feedback from Readers:


() From JoJo Planteen aka Monique Marquisa de Magdalen (S.F. 70s Punk Rocker): “Thanks Vale for your newsletters! Awesome stuff!! I’m featured at Friction Reading put on by Tom Iveli and David Kelly DK/SF on Oct. 22 at 3pm at LifeTime Books 1346 Polk Street @ Pine doing my new Black Panther Poem and Emma Goldman is Back! Female Rising! / anarchists / revolutionaries/ pimps / whores/ virgins/ Bad Boys–Bad Girls/ all invited to partake in Kali’s pure blood drinking while standing on Shiva’s pretend-o, fake death body with his great lingum rising to the Great, Great Heavens! Come read some writing, be part of the wild, be part of the Great Cause!” [sorry we missed it!]

() “Pranks 2 is a timely set of interviews with tricksters who help us see the arbitrary boundaries and nonsensical rules that we so often simply accept without question.  Stories from the likes of Margaret Cho, Jello Biafra and the Billboard Liberation Front (and many more) explore the rebellious spirit and authority-questioning that has long been a vital part of the American experience, but seem to be running at an extremely low ebb in the new millennium.  This book will revive your prankster spirit, and inspire you to make the world a more creative and lively place. – Curt G.”

() “Pranks 2 looks really great. The semi-glossy paper brings out the B&W photography in a way that is stunning. The photos themselves compliment the text superbly and the layout is exciting as usual. I haven’t had a chance to read all the interviews yet but what I have perused so far is fascinating. Yoshi pointed out something that’s pretty funny: the three people in the index with the most references are Ballard, Duchamp and G.W. Bush (who has by far the most). A true ideological show-down!” – L.H.

() PRANKS 2 can be ordered from http://www.

() From BOING-BOING (thanks, David/Mark!): “RE/Search Pranks 2  book coming soon: This fall, iconic counterculture chronicler RE/Search will release the long-awaited sequel to their seminalPranks! book published in 1988. The new book features inspirational interviews with The Yes Men, Ron English, John Waters, monochrom, Billboard Liberation Front, and many more tricksters. Hit the RE/Search site for excerpts and pre-order information. From the introduction: “What are pranks? For us, pranks are any humorous deeds, propaganda, sound bites, visual bites, performances and creative projects which pierce the veil of illusion and tell the truth. Pranks unseriously challenge accepted reality and rigid behavioral codes and speech. Pranks deftly undermine phoniness and hypocrisy. Pranks lampoon sanctimoniousness, self-glorification, selfmythologizing and self-aggrandizement. Pranks force the laziest muscle in the body, the imagination, to be exercised, stretched, and thus transcend its former self.The imagination is what creates the future; that which will be.”



NOVEMBER 2006 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by

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