WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #69, February 2008.
1. RE/Search at Hypnodrome): Fri Feb 15 & Sat Feb 16, 8 pm. Vale will be interviewing Monte Cazazza & Jello Biafra live on stage. Also, Jill Tracy/Paul Mercer @ Hypnodrome, 2/12-14.
2. Sat Feb 9, 6:30pm: RE/Search’s “Counter Culture Hour” (with host V. Vale) featuring Lyle Tuttle, tattoo godfather. S.F. Cable Channel 29, San Francisco. The channel is beginning on-line streaming now! Please check http://www.accessf.org – link: access 1
3. Other Forthcoming Events: Jill Tracy/Paul Mercer @ Hypnodrome, Feb 12-14
4. Stephane von Stephane’s cultural column – will be back next month
5. What We’ve Attended…
6. What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent:
7. RECOMMENDED LINKS – thanks to our friend Phil G, James McN-, Derek B. & Others
9. Feedback from Readers
1. RE/Search at Hypnodrome: Fri Feb 15 (V. Vale and Monte Cazazza) & Sat Feb 16 (V. Vale & Jello Biafra), 8 pm.
V. Vale will interview live on stage, with questions from the audience, legendary counterculture heroes Monte Cazazza and Jello Biafra. Videos will be shown. As the theater only holds 54 people, this is an intimate event, with a party afterward. Hard-to-find RE/Search books will be on sale, available for autographing. www.hypnodrome.com for more info!
Jill Tracy/Paul Mercer, too: 2/12-14. “With a diabolical nod to Valentine’s (and Presidents) Day, Thrillpeddlers presents a week-long line-up of live music and theatre, exquisite torture and expert testimony that all dare to touch the taboos that haunt these holidays. “Lovers and Other Monsters” celebrates the return of award-winning noire chanteuse Jill Tracy and acclaimed Atlanta violinist Paul Mercer (Faith and the Muse/The Changelings/DP3) back to The Hypnodrome stage, in concert and each taking a leading role in a new dramatic work from Thrillpeddlers.
The rotating bill of scintillating (and sinister) entertainments also features V. Vale, founder and editor of Re/Search Publications interviewing industrial music maverick Monte Cazazza (on Friday, 2/15) and media prankster and Dead Kennedys founder Jello Biafra (on Saturday, 2/16. Thrillpeddlers previews new acts for 2008 and proudly debuts their latest collaboration with Creepshow Camp.
The Hypnodrome has the perfect perch for Valentine couples: our private Shock Box seats for two put a spookier spin on the old Parisian perk for paramours – a lodge-grille, the private trysting booths where you can see the show, but the show cant see you! Our variation takes it to extremes! Each box boasts its own custom-built special effects (a nod to the spooky gimmicks of director William Castle and the methods of fake spiritualists) and themed decor worthy of a haunted Madonna Inn.” www.hypnodrome.com
2. Sat Feb 9, 6:30pm: RE/Search’s “Counter Culture Hour” (with host V. Vale) featuring Lyle Tuttle, tattoo godfather. S.F. Cable Channel 29, 2nd Sat of month @ 6:30pm (set your recorder). We are accepting underwriters for the Counter Culture Hour. We have a backlog of interviews but are short on resources for editing. Please consider becoming an underwriter! You would get on-screen credit. The channel is beginning on-line streaming now! Please check http://www.accessf.org – link to “access 1”
3. Other Forthcoming Events:
() Every Sunday at 9pm. Free Classical Music Performances: (reported by John C. Sulak) On Sunday evenings in the San Francisco Mission neighborhood a group of young, and very talented, musicians perform chamber music for free in a cafe on 22nd Street. I went last Sunday and really enjoyed the experience. The space is small, crowded and friendly. The musicians aren’t on a stage – they’re right next to the people who are sitting at tables drinking wine and coffee. It’s like being in someone’s living room. The music was all excellent. If you go to their website – www.classicalrevolution.org – you can get an idea of what kind of selections they play. As of this writing they’re doing it every Sunday evening starting at around 9. They already get more people than can fit comfortably into the room, but I mention it in case you live in San Francisco and want to go do something different and fun at the end of your weekend. The cafe is completely open to the street in front so you could even grab a sidewalk table and still clearly hear the music. (The weather was really cold last weekend, but even so all the outdoor tables were occupied.) Here’s the location: Revolution Cafe, 3248 22nd St/Valencia St, S.F. 415-642-0474
() Feb 1-March 8, 2008. DANGER GIRL: Paintings by Eileen Starr Moderbacher, rooted in collage. She employs photographs, film stills, and cut-outs from comic books. Wed-Sat, 1-6pm. MISSION 17, 2111 Mission Street, Suite 401, S.F. or by appointment 415.861.3144
() Spring 2008: Savage Republic 1938 Tour of Europe – google for tour schedule, and support these industrial noise music stalwarts…Their new mini-CD has been an “ambient” hit at the RE/Search office – very listenable.
() Katie Bush’s “Unremarkable People Having Sex” show opens this Sunday Feb 10, 5-8 pm. Right Window at ATA 992 Valencia/21st St. Show runs Feb 10-Feb 28th, 2008
() Feb 14, 6pm, Pillow Fight (formerly known as Valentine’s) Day is here again!!! Justin Herman Plaza (Market & Embarcadero), San Francisco. PILLOW FIGHT!!!
4. Stephane von Stephane’s cultural column will return next month…
5. What We Attended:
() The Castro Theater Film Noir Festival – our French intern Elie loved D.O.A. and The Story of Molly X (“great Women-in-Prison film!”), both filmed in San Francisco. Thanks to Eddie Muller, author & organizer.
() Our own CRASS event Jan 19 at the Hypnodrome – several people videotaped it, and you can find an excerpt from the V. Vale/Penny Rimbaud live interview on YouTube. Loved hosting Gee Vaucher and Penny Rimbaud at the RE/Search office – they don’t come more “hard-core” than them: gardening, vegetarian, anti-corporate, anti-category, collective-living, independent-publishing, black humorists. Penny played drums, V. Vale played piano, Gee Vaucher & everyone else sang “Auld Lang Syne” & other classics. A few posters signed by Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher are available from www.http://www.researchpubs.com – they signed ’em as a benefit for RE/Search…
() Jan 18, Jack Hanley Gallery, S.F.: YO! WHAT HAPPENED TO PEACE? Anti-War Poster Event. Great! Gee Vaucher made space for this happening gathering. 12-year-old Valentine Wallace learned to silk-screen anti-war posters, given out free that night! The all-color book is available from us for $25 from www.http://www.researchpubs.com – small printing, just a few available.
6. What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent:
() Penny Rimbaud’s books (Diamond Signature, Shibboleth), the Crass Love Songs, and more. Hardcore. Sets a standard to question one’s own life by. Don’t compromise! Never give up! Keep creating!
() MARK MOTHERSBAUGH’s impressively produced, color, hardback, art book, BEAUTIFUL MUTANTS, from grandcentralartcenter.com – mutation is the norm, not the exception. What can we say? A modern 21st-century photo scrapbook constructed from the dustbins of the past – evocative yet predictive. Another visual mythology for our children to deconstruct, ponder, and use as a basis for historical extrapolation. A mnemonic platform capable of launching dreams and nightmares.
() ANTIBOTHIS, Occultural Book anthology edited by Fernando Cerqueira + Merzbow CD compilation, Volume 1: includes Jarboe, Gx Jupitter-Larsen, etc – beautiful production – www.thisco.net, myspace.com/urculture, www.chilicomcarne.com – po box 2274, 1107-001 Lisboa, Portugal. Favorite essay: “Posthuman” by Edgar Franco.
() Ron Turner at Last Gasp gave us a review copy of Chris Felver’s BEAT hardback – beautifully produced photo/scrapbook/journal book of photos which we joked should be titled POST-BEAT. Photos date from around 1977 to present, and include our favorites William S. Burroughs (great photo of him walking with V. Vale in North Beach, uncaptioned), Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti at Bixby Canyon, Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, Harold Norse, Howard Hart, Gregory Corso, et al. Also includes Patti Smith, George Whitman, and more. Very useful biographical dictionary in back of book.
() Ben Terrall sent us this great review for a documentary on the Clash frontman:
Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten is a beautiful documentary directed by the Clash frontman’s friend and admirer Julien Temple. Temple, who made videos for The Clash in their late 70s-early 80s heyday and later directed the Sex Pistols doc The Filth and the Fury, nicely meshes together personal history of self-described “punk rock warlord” John Graham Mellor with the story of his most famous band.
Mellor/Strummer died unexpectedly in 2002 of congenital heart disease at the age of 50. Luckily for viewers of this film, he had been interviewed extensively. In addition to audio interviews with Strummer, who confesses that as a youth “I was a mouthy little git,” and talks about how he learned to put up a tough front in boarding school, the film includes extensive footage of friends, family and band mates of Strummer sharing memories of the man. Partly because Strummer spent a good chunk of his final decade developing a fondness for all-night socializing around campfires at Glastonbury and other music festivals, Temple eschews the standard talking head in a chair format and shoots his interviewees around outdoor fires in the U.S. and U.K. Underscoring The Clash’s ideal of punk rock being a great equalizer, he also refrains from identifying the speakers individually, running names of the famous and non-celebrity interviewed in the closing credits.
One of the more resolutely political and musically adventurous members of the first generation of punk rockers, Strummer had a profound influence on many people. The picture that emerges from the campfire remembrances is of a complex, flawed but overall loving and giving person. He was a creative force who saw himself not as an intellectual or a remote artist, but as someone connected to grassroots movement politics.
The Clash supported a wide array of progressive campaigns, from labor struggles to anti-nuclear activism. Unlike many of their contemporaries, they also eschewed easy nihilism. Lamely using rightist imagery for shock value, many early punks worse swastikas and hinted at flirtations with facism. But Strummer was clear that though The Clash took no ideologically rigid sectarian party lines, “We’re anti-facist, anti-racist, and pro-creative.”
Moreover, as writer Charlie Bertsch notes in the collection of essays Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer, “Even at his most combative, he was more interested in building up a community of rebels than in tearing down those who failed to make the grade.”
Some of the film’s most interesting music is taken from Strummer’s turn as a DJ on the BBC, playing what would later become known as “world music.” That globally popular show proved the punk icon to be a musical internationalist who believed in the potential of interaction between cultures, and in music being a fertile ground for developing true solidarity between people. Chuck D of the pioneering hip-hop band Public Enemy wrote in Interview magazine, “I had great respect for Joe Strummer. How he used his music – incrporating a lot of black music like hip-hop and reggae – was very different from the guys who invented rock ‘n’ roll: He always paid homage to those who came before him. I admired him for his humility as an artist.” Comparing what Strummer accomplished to the work of political hip-hoppers The Coup and Dead Prez, Chuck D added, “That’s Joe Strummer’s legacy – the idea that you need to stand by your word every step of the way.”
After The Clash self-destructed in the 1980s under combined pressures of huge fame, little business acumen and non-stop rock and roll lifestyles, Strummer spent years working on soundtracks and acting in films, including a featured part in the wonderful Jim Jarmusch movie Mystery Train. He found his voice as a member of a band again in the outfit he put together called The Mescaleros, which allowed him to explore further the musical curiosity evidenced in his BBC DJ work.
Several weeks before Strummer died, Mick Jones, his old songwriting partner and lead guitar player from The Clash, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu-02udB57w came onstage to play the old warhorses White Riot and London’s Burning with The Mescaleros. It’s entirely appropriate that instead of a big-ticket reunion, the evening was a London benefit for the Fire Brigades Union’s fair pay campaign. Not surprisingly, firefighters were amongst the pallbearers at the singer/songwriter/provocateur’s funeral.
() “Wooden Shjips- This S.F. band is really rad, they play legitimately killer pysch rock and roll. They’ve got one LP out and a handful of singles. Refreshingly anti-commercial – all the profits from their last 45 were donated to S.F. “Food Not Bombs.” Yeah!” – Nate Luce
() “Breakfast with Hunter” – A good companion film to “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
() “Dead Poets’ Society” – a classic that needs to be seen every few years…
() Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” and various cartoon books by Gary Larson and Bill Watterson – especially his “film noir” comics…
() Chris Cobb loaned us a disturbing marketing manual, “Selling the Invisible.” How much we don’t know about who we are and how we present ourselves!
() Jon Savage sent us his “TEENAGE: The Creation of Youth.” How much are we media inventions? We wonder about this every day…
() J.G. Ballard’s newest book, “The Miracle of Life,” has excerpts up on the Internet – google to find them, and recent interviews…
7. RECOMMENDED LINKS – thanks to our friend Phil G, James McN-, & Others who sent us the below:
() A great tech-prank: Phil G says, “The huge and overhyped consumer electronics show is being held this week. Tons of huge TVs displaying the latest bulls**t. The folks at Gizmodo passed out those clickers to turn off TVs, chaos ensued.” http://gizmodo.com/343348/confessions-the-meanest-thing-gizmodo-did-at-ces
() the world’s most important 6-sec drum loop, from Ferrara. A pretty cool mini-doc on the origins of the world’s most ubiquitous break-beat.
() a new competition for ‘ballardian home movies’ over at ballardian.com: http://www.ballardian.com/1st-ballardian-festival-of-home-movies”
() the Citizen Kane of Italian cannibal films: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvflno8ydJk and its back story: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibal_Holocaust
“Ten days after its release, prints of Holocaust were confiscated and its director was arrested on suspicion of murder. Not helping matters much was the fact that the film’s cast had signed agreements saying they would lay low for a full year after the film’s release, fueling rumors that they were, in fact, slaughtered for the camera. Finally, facing life in prison, the director voided his actors’ “no-media” contracts so they could come forward to clear his name.”
() A nice account of a tech-group’s battle against Scientology, sent by Phil W. – http://www.encyclopediadramatica.com/PROJECT_CHANOLOGY
() Derek B’s first review, of “The Stendhal Syndrome,” has been published online at
() Amazing album covers – Some german ones… downright painful. Enjoy:
() weird postcards: the blog PostSecret http://www.postsecret.blogspot.com/
() sent from Robert H: http://gizmodo.com/343348/confessions-the-meanest-thing-gizmodo-did-at-ces
() creme de la corpse: file under “hoaxes” – http://www.adipocere.com/
() gay rights: how far we’ve come (?): http://youtube.com/watch?v=fi0HbrhM2hg
() all quotes: http://www.reandev.com/taliban/
() “I’ve never bothered too much with reading about suicide, because pretty much everyone who has studied suicide has ended up killing themselves.” – V. Vale
() “Culture is something that ADVANCES. I’m not interested in popular culture – if it’s popular, it’s not culture!”- Vivienne Westwood
() “I think having a cat around helps you remember that being human isn’t everything.” – V. Vale
() “We only talk about sex in French. We don’t have words for these things in English.” – Elie-Sanh the Intern, on talking on the phone with his girlfriend.
() “What is the use of psychoanalysis in a society that’s basically a factory for producing neuroses?” – Penny Rimbaud
() “We try to be as dumb as you can possibly be.” – text-message-on-mobile-phones marketer
() “Revver.com promised to share advertising revenue with video producers, but foundered. [Grouper, Heavy.com, and Crackle are trying to pay for video content].” NYT
() “You can’t trust people who act too happy.” – V. Vale
() “Within half a second you can judge a person.” – V. Vale
9. Feedback from Readers:
() RE/Search Photographer ANA BARRADO IS LOOKING FOR LIVE/WORK SPACE IN BAY AREA. She has dog/cat. Any leads? 415-879-0400.
() JOHNNY BREWTON, fabulous artist and fine-art printer featured in our ZINES VOL ONE, is looking for a job and living space in BAY AREA. Any leads? Write email@example.com
() SEARCH & DESTROY tabloids from 1977-79 perfectly preserved in black plastic are STILL AVAILABLE (for now) from www.http://www.researchpubs.com – mention this newsletter for special pricing: firstname.lastname@example.org
FEBRUARY 2008 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com
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