WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #61, June 2007. HERE’S THE NEWS FROM SAN FRANCISCO… ALL READERS ARE INVITED TO SEND CONTRIBUTIONS AND FEEDBACK!
1. Louder Faster Shorter punk film now on DVD! and other new RE/Search offerings.
2. Sat JULY 14, 6:30pm: RE/SEARCH presents the COUNTER CULTURE HOUR featuring the Beyond Baroque April 28 RE/Search Industrial Culture Handbook celebration, with panelists Graeme Revell, Gerald V. Casale (DEVO) and performance artist Johanna Went. Cable Channel 29 (S.F. only), 6:30pm. See Counter Culture Hour shows online (free for now!) at:
We will continue to post at least one episode per month until we’ve caught up with the two+ year backlog!
3. Dana Todd’s review of our Industrial Culture Handbook celebration at Beyond Baroque, April 28, 2007
4. COMING EVENTS: Ducks Breath in Marin, Debbie Harry in Berkeley June 29
5. PAST EVENTS: RE/Search on Pirate Cat Radio; DIRKFEST June 8
6. Stephane von Stephane on Debbie Harry’s upcoming tour
7. What We’ve Been Reading: James Howard Kunstler, of course!
8. Recommended Links – thanks to: You Know Who You Are
9. Quotes (including an article detailing the threat to RE/Search’s very survival)
10. Industrial Culture Handbook, J.G. Ballard Conversations reviews
11. Feedback from Readers
1. RE/Search’s newest offering: Now on **DVD**: LOUDER FASTER SHORTER (classic 1978 punk documentary). See the Avengers, Dils, Mutants, Sleepers, UXA, and Dirk Dirksen, in their heyday, and marvel at how little the bands’ songs have dated). $20 plus $6 shipping. Special Offer: **Order now and you’ll receive a free RE/Search book of our choice!**
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 from our website for Special price $35 (plus $5 shipping U.S.; $15 Air Overseas). To order: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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! The newest one features Billy Hawk of the Offs; also up is Bambi Lake.
Here’s what’s up now:
-Jonathan Moore at Roboxotica in Vienna, also with “The Candy Film” by Marian Wallace
-Ryoichi Kurokawa, electronic filmmaker AND painter Masami Teraoka
-Billy Hawk of the Offs, 70s original punk band
-Bambi Lake, life-long entertainer, cross-dresser, San Francisco character
AND – not a Counter Culture Hour, but somehow related:
-V.Vale plays “Mongoloid” for Jerry Casale, DEVO original (3 minutes)
More online offerings will follow! Please give us your feedback as well as letting us know how your on-line experiences with these are! We’re open to suggestions!
Last but not least, 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
Your editor, V. Vale, founder of RE/Search (Search & Destroy redux) in 1977, still is under the cloud of the longest mysterious illness in his lifetime. Hence the lateness of this June newsletter. Have readers seen the S.F. Weekly’s large article on McSweeney’s (“With no money for payroll, the future looks staggering for the local publishing house”) ? RE/Search is basically “in the same boat” (no money to pay printing bill for the next book, an expanded reprint of the RE/Search Burroughs / Gysin / Throbbing Gristle issue, with more intvs w/ WSB and BG). Any readers and fans who think they can help RE/Search survive please order RE/Search books, send suggestions & donations, AND if you might be an angel investor — and want to keep key RE/Search backlist titles in print: Pranks, Incredibly Strange Films, the Burroughs issue, and Real Conversations 1, in particular — PLEASE contact us! A number of other RE/Search titles are in “last copies” status – order ’em now before they disappear. Vale will be happy to autograph, upon request. http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com or call Vale to order, 415-362-1465.
2. Sat JULY 14, 6:30pm: RE/SEARCH presents The Counter Culture Hour featuring the Beyond Baroque April 28 RE/Search Industrial Culture Handbook celebration, with panelists Graeme Revell, Gerald V. Casale (DEVO) and performance artist Johanna Went. Cable Channel 29 (S.F. only), 6:30 PM. RE/Search’s Counter Culture Hour airs 2nd Sat of month, 6:30pm; set your “VCR.” A few Counter Culture Hour episodes are available at www.veoh.com, as stated above. DVDs will be available soon for ease of viewing; chapters, etc.
3. Dana Todd’s review of our Industrial Culture Handbook celebration at Beyond Baroque, April 28, 2007:
“Sometimes, meeting your heroes in real life is a disappointment. They’re shorter than you expected, raging alcoholics, utterly vapid, etc. Then there are the pleasant surprises, such as the experience I had recently in attending the RE/Search hardback book launch party in Los Angeles last month.
“Set in timeless Venice Beach (what better place to time travel back to when subculture was beginning?), V. Vale hosted an all-star discussion panel to reflect on the various forces at work during the late ’70s and early ’80s which led to the emergence of the various performance art and musical genre experimentation that we now refer to as Industrial. It was my birthday weekend, so my friends and I decided to make it a road trip from San Diego so I could meet some of the people I’d been reading about from afar since I was a teenager.
“RE/Search probably saved my life back in 1984. I spent my teens and college years in Oklahoma and felt extremely outcast by the general population. I had such dark thoughts, and I didn’t know anyone else like me. By chance, I ended up moving into a house full of punky-artsy types of students and dropouts, which happened to be one of those cultural way-stations that helped to move underground cultural information around the country back in the days before the Internet. We had roommates who wrote fanzines, hosted a local underground video show and college radio show, and did experimental photography. The RE/Search books and zines became our Bibles and our inspiration, and I found myself having the best time of my life creating ‘art’ and experiences that expanded my consciousness and my imagination. We felt as if we were connected to a larger framework and a real cultural movement. We spent our weekends running around in modern primitive costumes (or none), covered in mud, taking pictures and performing rituals. We saved our pennies to attend shows by Diamanda Galas and Skinny Puppy.
“Fast forward nearly three decades, and the panel is discussing all the various attributes of the Industrial movement, and how it intertwined with Punk during its formation – yet was a separate thing entirely. V. Vale described the symbiosis between Punk and Industrial as being like the two threads of a rope; separate but connected to make a larger entity. The impressive panel was comprised of Graeme Revell (composer and SPK founder), performance artist Johanna Went, and Jerry Casale (Devo founder, newest CD: Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers). Wow! An amazing lineup. The venue was intimate and casual, with an upstairs gallery displaying early punk photography from Kamera Zie.
“The evening kicked off with videos from SPK and Johanna Went. The early SPK videos were very much focused on noise experimentation, both musically and visually. The sound distortions and primitive video special effects were lots of fun to watch and hear, and there was much discussion later about and their influences and visions of what they were trying to accomplish with their performances. Johanna’s work, which I hadn’t seen before, was quite theatrical and involved significant effort in creating stage props and costumes to be used as a means for her to channel her guttural stylings. Her art was almost shamanistic in its approach; similar to the Cocteau Twins and their use of non-language as language, Johanna utilized more emotional and primitive sounds and shrieks to impact audiences.
“I found the panel Q&A that followed to be immensely intriguing. The three mused a bit on the various social forces at work which impacted them and led to their styles and visions, and to the entire Industrial movement overall. Jerry Casale spoke of growing up in the post-nuclear era in a factory town where machines would control their parents’ lives and belch stink and smoke into the air nightly. With V. Vale moderating, the audience and panelists discussed many topics, including exploring the prevalence of a fascination with the body, mortality, flesh, fluids and all things physical, which seem to pervade much of the art and performance of the day. It was certainly a ‘walk down memory lane’ but through a lens of hind-sight, knowing the bigger picture as it was contained in history.
“I found myself reflecting on the fact that had V. Vale not chronicled it, the Industrial movement (or Post-Industrial as some prefer to call it) might never have been noticed at all by social historians. In reality, it is still below the radar of mainstream press who seem to remember only Punk as the genre that caused the most change during those decades. In reality, you see remnants of the Industrial explorers everywhere: Skinny Puppy began Marilyn Manson, Psychic TV begat acid house, and a host of modern primitives began the invasion of tattoos as personal expression. I’m sad that we were not given more notice, but at the same time a bit satisfied that I was part of a societal secret that influenced generations of work to come.
“The after-party was the best birthday party I could ever have. All the panelists except Johanna attended, plus many local performers and artists who settled in to chat over booze and snacks. Our weary hostess finally trundled off to bed before we stopped talking and laughing, but not before we got a command performance of ‘Mongoloid’ from Jerry, with V. Vale on piano. Amazing! Watch the video here: http://www.veoh.com/videos/v443333PHEfKjTG
“As we dragged our weary selves back down the highway to San Diego, we were still on a ‘contact high’ from the conversations and ideas of the night. It was truly a memorable experience, and I am grateful to V. Vale for being our constant witness. I can’t wait for the next event! – Dana Todd”
4. COMING EVENTS:
() DUCKS BREATH MYSTERY THEATER writes: “We don’t get out of the house much any more, but when we do, we like to wreak as much havoc as possible, before our handlers retrieve us, and put us back on our meds. Join us, won’t you? If not, why not? When else are you going to see us? We’re not getting any younger, you know. Hello? Be there! Aloha!”
SENSELESS CRUELTY – Ian Shoales, Joshua Raoul Brody, et al
AUGUST 9/10/11, 2007 (THR/FR/SAT * 8 PM), 142 Throckmorton Theater, 142 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley, California 94941 www.142ThrockmortonTheatre.com 415/383-9600
RUBBLE WITHOUT A CAUSE – AUGUST 12, 2007 (SUNDAY * 7 PM) The Palms Playhouse, 13 Main Street, Winters, CA, www.palmsplayhouse.com 530/795-1825
RUBBLE WITHOUT A CAUSE – AUGUST 13, 2007 (MONDAY * 8 PM) – Freight & Salvage, 1111 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA 94702 www.freightandsalvage.com 510/548-1761
() DEBBIE HARRY TOUR June 29, Berkeley – see Stephane’s column below.
5. PAST EVENTS:
() RE/Search was on Pirate Cat Radio June 16, 2007 (also on podcast): Host Melinda Adams (lilycat.com) writes, “Thank you all so much for being on Pirate Cat Radio yesterday. It was great – you all said some amazing stuff. It is always wonderful seeing you all. There is a podcast of the show at (podcasts are listed on the side by date and up for 6 weeks)
() RE/Search attended DIRKFEST, June 8, 2007, at Great American Music Hall. Here’s V. Vale’s brief report:
“The Mabuhay Gardens under Dirk Dirksen almost singlehandedly made the earliest Punk Rock Countercultural Revolution in San Francisco happen. Why? No other club, including the Great American Music Hall, would allow Punk Rock bands. Also, the Mabuhay, being a restaurant, allowed All Ages to attend – very important; people like Jello Biafra were under 21. Dirk Dirksen’s editorial / curating policy was simple: submit a tape, a photo, and a brief bio. Upon review, he would give you one chance to perform. (If you couldn’t produce those 3, you probably were just pulling a prank.)
San Francisco is a city of about 750,000 people, with a total of about 20 million people stretching from the North Bay to the South Bay to comprise the Bay Area. In 1976-1978, probably no more than 200-300 people were really living the hardcore Punk life – i.e., barely working, going to every Punk show, and in their copious spare time staying up all night talking, writing songs, forming bands, making posters, making Punk clothes, making zines, reading William Burroughs, going to 99-cent movies at the 6 B-movie palaces that still existed, and going to the cheapest places in town to eat after the shows, preferably those staffed by other Punk individuals…
In 1979, our Mabuhay Gardens were invaded by hundreds of teenage boys who saw an NBC Weekend special on Punk, and our original social cult/scene was destroyed. Some of us dropped out; some went to Robert Hanrahan’s Deaf Club and other more underground venues, but the unity was not the same. Also, as Punk continued, the new arrivals seemed less interesting and diverse (what do you expect; they were a lot younger). It became a lot easier to say you were going to a Punk show… The original people were older, more artistic and rebellious, more idiosyncratic — that is, if one were to generalize…
So, for me, the entire evening of Dirk Fest in the Great American Music Hall, a gorgeous piece of architecture, was like I’d gone to Punk Heaven. The venue was sold out, with six hundred-plus people having paid for advance tickets, and from 9 til 2 AM, individuals continually came up to me. With many of them, I’d have to ask, “Who are you?” They’d tell me their name (in the early Punk scene, you only knew people’s first names) and a memory of their young face 25-30 years ago would emerge from faces that had gotten wider – maybe they’d put on 50-150 pounds – or maybe they’d lost their hair, or their hair had turned gray. It just seemed impossible that we’d all be in the same room ever again, 25-30 years later. A literal handful of people looked amazingly the same (one very good-looking woman in particular had been a junkie and kicked it, and still looked about 25 – well, W.S. Burroughs claimed that junk preserves cells.). Reesa looked the same, but about half a foot taller – she reminded me that when I met her she was just 15. Joanne looked the same; she was 17 in 1978 when I met her. Lamar and Esmerelda looked great. Ginger Coyote had put on 150 pounds since the last time I’d seen her, but she remained totally feisty and over the top, and her band, the White Trash Debutantes, was one of the best bands I’ve ever seen, for many reasons: ferocious music, great sing-a-long lyrics, perfect arrangements, and ‘beautiful babes’ to look at on-stage (that’s quoting my 11-year-old daughter, whose favorite acts of the evening were the White Trash Debutantes, the Mutants (esp. Sue, with the ‘foot-high blonde hair’), and Chip Kinman of the Dils).
We liked EVERYBODY – in fact, everyone sounded BETTER than “back in the day.” Johnny Genocide had become a school teacher, but he was still angry and musically slashing and ripping chords off his guitar. The Contractions sounded exactly like they did in 1979, and that’s a compliment. My daughter left too early to see the Avengers (headliner) but I’m positive she would have greatly admired Penelope – the Avengers sounded unbelievably stirring – most of their songs truly are classic anthems. Someday, the world may find out that San Francisco produced more and better songs than New York, London, or L.A. … at least in the Seventies Punk Scene …
We don’t get that many chances to go back to our past lives… Having lived this long, it seems that life really does go by like the snap of a finger, that nothing is more important than the tiny handful of people you really, really like (it’s got to be an instinctual feeling right away when you meet them), and that our personal history is far more important than anything you can buy at a store or mall… especially if you were lucky enough to be in a real underground when it just gets started…
Well, the whole evening would not have happened without one person, Kathy Peck, Contractions’ bassist and H.E.A.R. Foundation founder… This big benefit for Dirk Dirksen – to preserve his archive of Punk everything – pay for his burial expenses – was also expedited by Punk historian/mentor/scholar/orator Jello Biafra, the real heart and soul behind the Dead Kennedys; the bands who played; Winston Smith and Chuck Sperry/Ron Donovan who made the great poster; Dawn Holliday, booker of Great American/Slims); Craig Pop Artist who made the backdrops; whoever made the food backstage … It took a village to make this amazing event, and there may never be another one like it… Sometimes you only get one chance in this life …
6. STEPHANE VON STEPHANE: My recommendation for the month of June is the True Colors Tour. Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry, Erasure, Rufus Wainwright, Dresden Dolls & others, hosted by Margaret Cho. Check your local listings. Will be in Berkeley on June 29th at the Greek Theater, U.C. Berkeley, a great outdoor venue to see the stars under the starlight.
Stephane von Stephane & Debbie Harry re: The True Colors Tour
By phone: June 20th. Debbie Harry has a new album out, Necessary Evil.
S.v.S.; How is the tour going?
D.H.: It’s going great, it’s a great show, and it’s for a good cause.
S.v.S.: Are you having fun? Do you hang out and watch the other bands too?
D.H.: Yeah, I do, everyone’s really good. The crowds have been fabulous.
S.v.S.: How has it been to see Erasure? I really like them.
D.H.: Oh, they’ve been excellent to see, they’re so talented and they have some great back-up singers along. I’ve always really loved them. The whole show is just really fun and well worth seeing – you can’t go wrong, really. Everyone should come on out.
S.v.S.: I’m just gonna hurry up and get this out on my little blog.
D.H.: Blog me baby!
7. What We’ve Been Reading – just a little bit
() Our favorite recent “discovery” STILL continues to be the visionary author JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER. He’s written 9 novels (we intend to read ’em all) and now we’re reading HOME FROM NOWHERE, and re-reading THE LONG EMERGENCY. His books are very witty/sardonic (unlike, say, Chomsky whom we totally admire), but require repeated study. We’ve been telling all our friends about Kunstler – even Jello Biafra never heard of him – and received this from a person who ordered on the phone Pranks 2 from us:
“I received your package a few days ago – the absolute highlight of a miserable week. Thanks for the extra info and your gift of MODERN PAGANS which looks awesome and which I have never even seen before!
“I finished Kunstler [Geography of Nowhere] in a few days and was totally blown away. He articulated so many ideas that I’ve been aware of for awhile but never actually read in print. I’m not too sure of what the situation is like in S.F. but here [Chicago] (aside from bars, coffee shops etc.) there is really nowhere to go! The public parks are filled with yuppies playing frisbee and baby strollers, and at night with gang-bangers and winos who mug and harass the frisbee-playing new moms and dads.
“I’ve taken to actually sitting at the bus stop to read and drink my afternoon coffee! Strange society we have here. Any other reading suggestions? I just picked up some old hypnotism books from the 60’s and 70’s that look amazing for the cover art alone.
“I hope you are feeling better (healthy) and life is going well. Let me know if there is ever anything I can do to help out with RE/SEARCH or anything else. Meeting someone so much on the same page as myself is wonderfully refreshing so keep in touch. Talk soon and thanks again…BEN H.”
() “Musicians from bands like Low and the Decemberists joined in with writers from Elissa Schappell to Lance Olsen in 2GQ’s “Exquisite Language” project. Seventy contributors from around the world co-constructed a series of exquisite corpse stories and songs; the results were published in our special Exquisite Language issue of 2GQ and also interpreted as performance and song at an EL-fest event at the Heathman Hotel… We still have a few copies of Exquisite Language. To get one of your very own, please send a check for $13 made out to “2GQ” to: Tiffany Lee Brown, 2GQ Editor, PO Box 2863, Portland OR 97208. Includes a splendid letterpressed mailing box you will want to crawl inside. Price includes all applicable taxes, shipping, etc. USA and Canada only.” For more, see http://www.2gq.org/2007/06/exquisite_langu.html#more
() During an extended illness we’ve read mysteries by James Crais (funny!), Naomi Hirahara, Walter Mosley, Michael Connelly, and James Howard Kunstler.
8. RECOMMENDED LINKS – thanks to our friend Phil G, & Others who sent us the below:
() from Johanna Went:
() From Ralf Burgert: http://englishrussia.com/?p=334#more-334
() Doc Martens story a fake – even better!
() Great ad prank: Beware the Angus… Jackinnabox says the new “Angus” burgers at certain fast food joints come from an unmentionable part of the cow:
() Bag of trouble: Dali made a VD poster in WW2
That’s a link to a section of it. They seem to have some AMAZING weird and blunderful stuff. Also see (a place for your next holiday):
A creationist museum where they disprove evolution and man and dinosaur coexist! http://www.newscientisttech.com/channel/tech/mg19426076.200?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=mg19426076.200
() bomb “threat” causes widespread panic: <http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/05/31/faulty_fax_mistaken_as_threat_prompts_evacuation_of_stores/>
() intermission riff: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/arts/music/30inte.html?ei=5090&en=9df5d6d782df5778
() exotica: http://www.tikioasis.com/index.htm
() Joana Costa: sings gorgeous FADO music, and is beautiful like Cosey Fanni Tutti http://www.cantigasdarua.com/fado.mp3
() Interesting story: I just wish it had some more info… – Ben H.
() Suzanne Ramsey >^..^< – Kitten on the Keys
Piano, Ukulele,Accordion, Variety Artist, Vocalist and much MORE! http://www.kittymusic.com
() From Kent Beyda, sites of interest: http://www.lonelyplanet.tv/
() sent by Karlo P: excerpt from interview with 21st century “political prophet” EMMANUEL TODD: http://www.countercurrents.org/us-senn080803.htm
“The Conceited Empire – interview by Martin A. Senn and Felix Lautenschlager
“Q: Mr. Todd, you write that America is economically, militarily, and ideologically too weak to actually control the world. This would gladden many anti-Americans. But how is this anything but the wishful thinking of an intellectual who is the product of the French US critical tradition?
ET: This is neither wishful thinking nor anti-Americanism. Why would I have been so prominently criticized by the left? The French career anti-American paper “Le Monde diplomatique” was the only major paper that remained conspicuously silent on my book. The over-estimation of America is fundamental to these people. It is on this topic that they agree with the American ultra-conservatives: the former to demonize, the latter to aggrandize.
Q: You on the other hand can be accused of underestimating the United States.
ET: On the contrary, the US is still the most powerful nation in the world today, but there are many indicators that they are about to relinquish their position as solitary superpower. In my 1976 book, La chute finale (Before the Fall: The End of Soviet Domination), I based my prediction of the fall of the Soviet Union on the relevant indicators of the time. An analysis of current demographic, cultural, military, economic, and ideological factors leads me to conclude that the remaining pole of the former bipolar world order will not remain alone in its position. The world has become too large and complex to accept the predominance of one power. There will not be an American Empire…”
9. QUOTES – sorry, more next time. Our favorite is probably W.S. Burroughs’ “Belief is the enemy of knowledge.” Think about it – let’s abolish the word “believe”!
() Here is one long quotation that just hints at how dire our RE/Search publishing situation is right now – if you care, please order our PRANKS 2 book or our new DVD or something direct from our website, not from amazon.com!:
http://isak.typepad.com/isak/2007/06/book-distributo.html – June 21, 2007
“The aftermath of Advanced Marketing Services, the book distributor for more than 130 indie publishers, falling to pieces:
“McSweeney’s launches a major online auction, going on now. Books for sale at 30-50 percent off. Items on the block include a tour of “The Daily Show” with John Hodgman and an original Chris Ware comics page…
“Soft Skull, Hugh Lauter Levin, and Inner Ocean have been acquired by larger publishers. Carroll & Graf and Thunder’s Mouth, two Avalon Publishing Group imprints, have folded. Cleis lost about $100,000 in the bankruptcy and takeover, and had to sell off discounted books on its Web site and “cut everything to the bone.”
“Tiny punk-rock publisher Re/Search puts out two titles a year, but this year it’ll be lucky to release one; publisher V. Vale was planning to update, augment and reissue a book on William S. Burroughs for its spring title, including his last interview with WSB (1997),” but no dice–there’s no money.
“This was the biggest bankruptcy that’s ever happened in publishing history,” says Munro Magruder… “And its implications are going to be felt for some time.”
“Soft Skull publisher Richard Nash put it more bluntly, “The independents got f–d by the Enron of publishing.” [end]
() “Roughly 130 million new vehicles have been sold in [U.S.A.] since 2000, most of them not even paid for yet.” New York Times, 6-20-07
10. Reviews of our RE/Search books: [order our books from http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com, or call 415-362-1465.]
() [Re: Industrial Culture Handbook] “That book is so phenomenal, and let me thank you for doing it. It’s great — it’s a piece of art! Some albums are perfect, some movies are perfect, and that book is perfect.” — Roberto Munoz, musician, New York City
() “I found J.G. BALLARD CONVERSATIONS to be very enlightening in the sense that Ballard predicts (I’m using the word loosely) current events, within a span of a decade. It’s almost like deja vu in a way because he talks of Bush Senior, and the mistakes of going to war. History doesn’t repeat itself, Man does… All and all, a great read.” – Chad Gregory
() “Hi! I’ve just finished reading your JG Ballard Conversations book and wanted to say that I was delighted. Ballard is such an outstanding character writer, funny and witty. Your work with these books is also marvellous… Thanks to Ballard and you for it! By the way, new plans for more books on Ballard? Regards, Manuel Sanchez”
11. Feedback from Readers:
() “Hey Dr. Vale, Thanks for including my review, I hope it managed to convey a quarter of the enthusiasm I felt for the IGGY POP show April 19, 2007 (Warfield). Man, I think I’m still high from that, and the only drug I do anymore is a half gallon of coffee a day.
“This is such a great read – keep these newsletters coming, my man, and we’ll buy another book from you the next time we see you. Talk about great minds thinking alike, J. was dead set on going to Pineapple Princess and Polkacide [KUSF 30th Anniv @ Annie’s], but something else came up that kept us from going.
“Did you see that Radio Birdman is coming to SF in June? I think show is at Great American Music Hall. I was told they were absolutely scorching when they came through last year, I missed them then but won’t this time. – all best, Ben Terrall”
() “J. and I won free tickets to see the Germs reunion at Slim’s [April 2007] and it was really what I needed after watching the nauseating “Ghosts of Cite Soleil,” slickly produced rightist propaganda masquerading as documentary that justified the 2004 coup in Haiti, further proof that the SF International Film Festival has not a clue when it comes to matters political. The new Germs singer was not Darby Crash, of course, but so what? I thought his vocals were great. Don Bolles (dr), Lorna Doom (bass), and the absolutely magnificent Pat Smear (gtr) were on it. Doom looked great and seemed to be having a blast, but Smear and Bolles were really the standouts for me, extremely cathartic sonic assault of the first order. – Ben Terrall”
() “Hi Vale, I was beginning to wonder if no newsletter would be forthcoming this month! Anyway, I was just reading “Up Is Up, But So Is Down,” a survey of the underground NYC literature scene in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, which came out in 2006. I thought you might be curious to know that RE/Search gets name-checked in one of the reprints from 1987, a satirical essay by Darius James titled:
“On Bohomelessness: A Convoluted Guide to the Other Side”
“The intro asks “Who Are the Bohomeless?” — and one of the possible answers is “subway-dwelling frottage freaks who rasp, with fetid breath, disjointed passages from ‘High Performance’ and ‘RE/Search’ magazines on how the use of video monitors in open-air performance spaces has brought the homeless shambling, like blue-hued ghouls, into the mainstream of mall-mad consumer culture.” … I recommend the book as a whole…
“In a similar vein, I also recommend the 2005 collection of essays about and interviews with NYC underground filmmakers from roughly the same era; that book is titled “Captured” and, like “Up Is Up, But So Is Down,” is a huge volume …that covers everything from the 1960s freaks like Jack “Flaming Creatures” Smith to the punk and No Wave music/film crossover scene, to the infamous 1980s Cinema of Transgression (R. Kern, N. Zedd, etc.), to more famous artists like Jim Jarmusch, Steve Buscemi, etc. “That reminds me of Lydia Lunch. She apparently left you a note about “Your Flesh” magazine being reborn online. I am also occasionally writing for the online version. Though it’s been a slow process to upload over 20 years of back content, eventually chief editor and longtime honcho Peter Davis wants to get every bit of text and art online — which would be a great resource for getting insights into the best of 1980s and 1990s punk, hardcore, post-punk, noise, hard-boiled literature, and other underground culture. As you know, the 21st Century has made the job of punk/ independent publishers much tougher. So rather than simply scrap all those years of effort, “Your Flesh” went on-line… I’d hate to see years and years of cultural investigations be left to rot in the form of sad, dessicated, crumbling volumes trapped in someone’s basement…
“I’m always glad to get your monthly updates, even if the news about indie distro and/or returns from corporate book chains isn’t always happy. Keep plugging away!! — JOHN GRAHAM
“PS: If you actually think you’d want any more recommendations about books, music, or film, just let me know. Even though I can’t guarantee that my tastes run along the same lines as yours, I own and/or have read all the Re/Search volumes (well, OK, I skipped the retro Swing book, to be perfectly honest). Therefore at least some part of the “Vale brain” has likely infected my cerebral cortex to a degree!”
() Skot Armst, who turned Throbbing Gristle onto “Exotica” and Martin Denny, writes: “I’m currently writing for a new art magazine called ARTillery (www.artillerymag.com <http://www.artillerymag.com> ) I’ll send you the entire run so far. It’s pretty good.” Yes, it definitely contains coverage of artists you’ve probably never heard of, and is well designed. Ask your local bookstore to order it (and RE/Search as well, for that matter)… Skot’s current project is the Museum of Fun, http://www.funahoy.com
() [Having viewed video of “Mongoloid” with V. Vale on piano/G.V. Casale on vocals,
http://www.veoh.com/videos/v443333PHEfKjTG Graham Rae writes: “Vale, that’s pretty damned cool! I never knew you played piano! Jack of all trades! I actually LOVE that DEVO song, used to have an old copy of the single of it years ago in a sort of fold-out cover, LOVED the clipped threatening alienated guitar sound on it. I actually worked until recently with ‘mongoloid’ (new politically correct semantics label: ‘developmentally disabled’) people until recently in America and it was a very beautiful experience. Though I doubt if ‘Developmentally disabled/he was developmentally disabled/happier than you or me’ would fly as well as a chorus as the original…”
() [Re “Mongoloid”] “Yeah! That video is great, I actually found it on BoingBoing. I’ve been trying to get it to post on my videoblog: http://firebreathertv.blogspot for a while, but have been having trouble getting Veoh to publish. Man you can really work those keys Vale. Keep at it. You guys should go on a world tour.” – Have the fun, guys – Andy Lyman
() [Re “Mongoloid”] Thanks for the link, Vale! Brings back the memories of a fun evening… Oh…too bad no youtube… it would get enormous views there. Looking forward to the Beyond Baroque videos–did you get both the punk and the industrial ones taped? Hey, I should send you some of my CDs. If you e-mail me your address, I’ll get them to you. btw…if you’re interested, check out the website for my feature film, coming this summer on DVD – Randy
() “Hey Vale, I’m looking forward to the day when/if you can post some mpeg downloadable movies of your TV show [Counter Culture Hour] for those of us on the East Coast. I’d love to see the Offs interview. We played some shows with them in SF and LA, and really liked and miss Don, especially. Also the Mutants show! We bump into Sally every now and then here in NY. But I would really like to see how Freddy looks now! I know it’s cruelly funny, but didn’t he seem like my age now, only back then? Have you seen any of the old 70’s punks perform in wheelchairs yet? Maybe I can be the first. Anyway, just letting you know I enjoy your Newsletter, and I’ve enclosed a link where you can hear/download a song I mixed lately that features our esteemed dominator of the free world.
http://www.rascopet.com/Units – Terra.mp3” – SCOTT from THE UNITS, very innovative S.F. multi-media band (’79-’80s)
() Sent by our pal SANDRA: “Esther Robinson’s award-winning documentary, “A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Andy Warhol Factory” … Part documentary and part mystery, Robinson details the relationship of her uncle, Danny Williams, with Andy Warhol. Set during the ’60s Factory era, Williams mysteriously disappeared at age 26 after years of creative and sexual collaboration…”
() “Whatever happened to Mr. Death…catch you later….on a t-shirt? He was a favorite.” – John Goldsmith
() “Dear V. Vale, good afternoon from Athens. First of all I would like to congratulate you for the excellent editions you have created. I have the 2 books of J.G. Ballard (Conversations and Quotes) and I would like to order the signed hardback edition of “Atrocity Exhibition” along with the t-shirt of W. Burroughs and also some other books that are in fear of becoming out of print: (our last copies of RE/Search #8/9: J.G. Ballard; RE/Search #16: Bodily Fluids by Paul Spinrad; RE/Search #13: Angry Women, etc). I would like to assure you there are still people out there (even in the other side of the Atlantic) who admire your work and are wishing you to “hold the fort” 🙂 As I am a bookworm person myself I know how you feel with all these recent developments in the bookstore policies regarding sales… I feel myself quite strange when it’s even rare to find a person under 35 even reading newspapers… I am 43 years old… and I was shocked by a recent survey that last year in Greece 43.8% of the population hadn’t read a single book all through the year… and those who’ve read at least 10 books are about 10%. So it’s a global phenomenon…. but.. don’t worry.. I am doing my little “preaching” about your editions to all my friends. Regards from summer hot Athens… Panos K.
[later] “Glad I’ve helped you pay the rent and it’s a damn shame in all that “free market” “globalization” blah blah.. there isn’t a way to assure the survival and prospering of essential publishing “institutes’ (I prefer this term instead of any other market-like).
“As for the survey results about publishing business in Greece, the strange thing is that, although the readership is lowering (43.8% of Greeks haven’t read a single book whole last year) the sales of books has been increased! Too many given as gifts perhaps or used as …”heavy objects”? :)) who knows..:)) Ok enough with my rant…
Take care my friend and enjoy good old Frisco which I have seen only in movies like “Bullitt”, etc.. 🙂 – Cultural regards from Athens, Panos K.
() [THANKS, TIFFANY – you produce beautiful work yourself!] “Even when I am drowning in newsletters, PR, blog posts, and infojunk… even when I want to throw it all away and never email with anyone, ever, again… when I think I’ve wasted the entirety of my adult life (plus some of my youth and childhood) obsessing over small press and underground publication… even then, I read the RE/Search newsletter. I am reminded again why any of this matters to me. I am inspired by what people have done, are still doing, will do, in the realms of culture and media.
“Plus it gives me that juicy little frisson of Bay Area old-school punk pagan industrial primitive goodness. You can take the girl out of the West Oakland warehouse, but ya can’t take the West Oakland warehouse outta the girl, even when she moves back home to Oregon…
“Anyway, back to the business at hand. This episode, RE/Search and friends were off celebrating the limited edition re-release of their seminal Industrial Culture Handbook, and ended up capturing some home video of an improptu performance: DEVO co-founder Gerald V. Casale singing “Mongoloid” with V. Vale on piano. !!
JUNE 2007 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletterand website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com
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