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V. VALE RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER SEPT 2008: Used Bookstores. Surrealism. Nick Cave.



1. Sat Sep 13, 6:30pm: RE/Search Counter Culture Hour (with host V. Vale) featuring monochrom’s Robëxotica. S.F. Cable Channel 29, live streaming video at – “ACCESS SF 1” button
2. Wed, Sep 24, 730PM: Meet RE/SEARCH at Million Fishes, 2501 Bryant/23rd St. FREE! A party featuring a Counter Culture Hour episode of monochrom (members may be present live, too?). Guaranteed fun! Beverages; RE/Search books/T-shirts on sale, too.
3. Sat Sep 27 10-6PM, EXPO FOR THE ARTIST, Dolores Park, SF. FREE. RE/Search will sell books there; meet us and “hang out”!
4. Fri-Sat Sep 19-20 NICK CAVE & BAD SEEDS: One of the only major venue concerts worth attending this year. Warfield, SF.
5. OTHER FORTHCOMING EVENTS – San Francisco: Arse Elektronika, London: Raindance Film Festival, and more!
5A. Stephane von Stephane on Pioneers of Punk show; Ted Falconi (Flipper) intv.
6. What We’ve Attended…
7. What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent…
8. RECOMMENDED LINKS – thanks to our friends Phil G, Ferrara, James McN-, Derek B. & Others
10. Feedback from Reader

Sept 13, 2008 – A hastily-written letter from your editor, V. Vale:

I have been intermittently disturbed by the thought (printed in an earlier newsletter) that during one’s entire lifetime, one may only have time to read about 6,000 books — that’s all — about one a week. Actually, I read that most people in America don’t even read one full book every YEAR, now. Yet, I also read that last year some 415,000 books were published in America alone. (How many of them are truly worth reading? How many will endure 100 years?)

Sometimes it takes days to read through a thick book — I’m still working on Franklin Rosemont’s “Jacques Vache & the Roots of Surrealism,” which I started a couple months ago. Last week the sun was pouring in through the living room window and I spontaneously decided to shirk duty and just read this book — nobody else was around. Ah, silence — no wonder William Burroughs said, “It can’t get too quiet for me.” Concepts and ideas seemed to literally leap off the page, and thumbing through the book seemed an airy and light task, like listening to Mozart in the morning. Since no pencil and post-it tape was nearby, I resorted to turning down the corners of the pages to mark important quotes, such as this one from deceased mentor Philip Lamantia: “The mind is a black hole of beautiful chance encounters.” (p. 201) Another quote by “Angus C. Graham” leaped out: “We are not yet accustomed to thinking of ourselves as primarily spontaneous beings.” (p. 241) How about, “To laugh is suddenly to find oneself disregarding laws. —  Marcel Schwob” (p.168) How about, “Ecstasy is the active element which transports us beyond space and time.” — Hoene Wronski (p. 146)

You could troll the Internet for hours and not find quotations (like the above) which set the mind to thinking and speculating…

Changing the subject: I liked the archetype of “Fantomas” on page 245: “Shadowlike, a master of disguise, ‘everywhere and nowhere at once,’ Fantomas is the Lord of Terror, the Genius of Evil, the very personification of Crime. Supremely calm, self-assured, always in control, dressed (whenever it pleases him) in the finest clothes, equally at home in the lowest dens of iniquity and the poshest palaces of the ruling elite, he also exemplifies dandyism at its zaniest and blackest. For Fantomas and his gang, the most fantastic improbabilities are the order of the day. ‘Nothing is impossible for Fantomas!’ ”

Now, it was at a used bookstore that I found a mass-market paperback containing some of the Fantomas short novels in translation. And I realized that one of the greatest pleasures of living in a city was: being able to walk to various used book stores as well as stores selling a variety of international magazines and newspapers. I used to walk once a week to Tower Records at Bay and Columbus and spend hours looking at the magazines, books (yes, they distributed RE/Search all over the world) and records. I used to walk to Harold’s Newstand and Cafe de la Presse and “devour” the magazines in foreign languages, deploying a kind of schoolboy French, Spanish, Italian and German — and often these magazines were much more politically critical, and even shocking, in their presentation of un-censored news photos of airplane crashes, celebrity deaths, or politicians unmasked. There were at least two used bookstores in North Beach — the Discovery, Black Oak Books, and a small store on Vallejo near Columbus — they’re now all gone. It should seem obvious, but used bookstores provide a kind of serendipitous discovery not possible (as far as I know) on the Internet — plus, you can thoroughly inspect your discovery immediately and decide To Buy Or Not To Buy. (I know, there’s “Search Inside the Book” now on certain despicable Internet Borg websites, but — it’s still Not The Same.)

Used bookstores are rapidly disappearing, as are small shoe repair stores, and I realized that both should be given FREE RENT — they’re community services having to do with cultural elevation and conservation, rather than the profit motive. Books are now so devalued that I regularly find them abandoned on the street — yesterday I found a bag containing, in perfect condition, The Scarlet Letter, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, How to Be a Wicked Witch, and a book by Frank Rich. Anyway, I urge readers to consider the surviving USED BOOKSTORES in San Francisco as Local Treasures, and patronize them regularly.

Today I recommend:
() Ocean Avenue Books, 1735 Ocean Ave, SF 94112. 415.587.2665 – the owner, Jeff Goodman, has promised to give me a preview copy of one of the best movies of the 20th century – Boris Karloff’s last film, “The Sorcerers.” Any fan of the Brion Gysin Dreamachine ought to check out THIS film! Talk about the Control Process, the Flicker Effect, and also, a unknown great U.K. mid-sixties garage band …
() Bibliohead Books, 334 Gough/Fell Sts, 415.621.6772. How brave, to start a tiny USED bookstore in the 21st century. (They have a few hip new books, too.)
() McDonalds Books, 48 Turk St near Market. If you think a book is priced too high, take it to the counter and make an offer: “Will you take a couple bucks for this?” This classic store may not be long for this world.

Now, I remember taking walks in this city and being fascinated by a number of small, disorganized stores selling a veritable cornucopia of puzzling “merchandise.” Not any more. Modernism has triumphed, with its neat, squeaky clean, shiny, designer, minimalist “aesthetic,” and it is very hard to find a dusty shadowy store crammed with potential “treasures.” Even thrift stores — especially Goodwill – seem oppressively over-lit and far too neat and tidy. Fortunately, Fri-Sun Sept 26-28 Fort Mason holds its yearly huge book sale — and many of the most interesting souls in San Francisco will find their way there. Once you’ve been, you’ll probably want to pilgrimage back annually. Now THAT could be a contemporary conceptual ideal for a huge “SINGLES BAR”!

Awhile back when Nick Cave was in town with GRINDERMAN, a group of us went to one of the hip downtown “speakeasies,” which featured a (faux) library room. Sadly, most of the books lining the shelves turned out to be pure drivel — almost nothing worth reading! We had a glimpse of the Orwellian 1984 future, in which an old-looking room filled with worn antique furniture conceals the highest-tech surveillance gear. Can it be that everything is truly becoming only SURFACE, with virtually no real depth behind?? Like TV studio sets, in which the books on a shelf turn out to be just large photographs of a bookshelf used as a backdrop. Reminds one of the famous photograph of George W. Bush standing in front of a warehouse filled with boxes — except that it was a photorealist backdrop used to conceal the fact that the real boxes in the warehouse were all stamped “Made In China.”

But back to that morning of reading the book on Jacques Vache. For not the first time, I thought about how everything in our society seems to be valued quantitatively (how much $$ can it sell for?) but not qualitatively. But if memory is any kind of reliable index, the most pleasurable moments in one’s life (vacationing in Hawaii or Paris) — do they not reflect a kind of quality of time which seems vastly superior to, say, one’s “daily grind” involving working to pay the rent.

It’s time to work on an essay exploring how time can be qualitatively valued. Or maybe one can Google and find out there are dozens of such essays already written…

1. Sat Sep 13, 6:30PM Cable Channel 29: RE/Search Counter Culture Hour (with host V. Vale) featuring monochrom’s RoboExotica, Dec 2006. S.F. Cable Channel 29, 2nd Saturday of month. Various members of monochrom and other international robot-makers demonstrate their cocktail robotic-oriented theme installations, machines, and philosophies behind their creativity. Please write us if you’re interested in collecting CCH episodes on DVD – $15 per episode or subscribe and get 6 for $75. (Note: very small production run, just for you)
Tonight! the show is on: on-line as well as on public access television in San Francisco. 6:30-7:30 PM Channel 29 AND – “ACCESS SF 1” button
Roböxotica 2006 – Counter Culture Hour crew and staff “on the road” in Vienna, Austria. Interviews with a dozen or more cocktail robot makers and a look at the robots and the party they wrought.
This show will also be shown at Million Fishes Gallery in San Francisco on Wed Sept 24, so watch for an update about that event.
(NOTE: it’s now Sat Sep 13 9PM, and you’ve already missed the above Counter Culture Hour! But, tomorrow morning, Sunday, watch and see if it airs! The station often re-broadcasts shows Sunday early AM. And if it does, and you see it, please shoot us an email at – thanks!)

2. Wed, Sep 24, 730PM: Meet RE/SEARCH at Million Fishes, 2501 Bryant/23rd St. FREE! A party featuring a Counter Culture Hour episode of monochrom’s Roboexotica (monochrom members may be present??). Guaranteed fun! Beverages; RE/Search books on sale, too.

3. Sat Sep 27 10-6PM FREE: EXPO FOR THE ARTIST, Dolores Park, SF. RE/Search will sell books there; meet us and “hang out”!

4. Fri-Sat Sep 19-20 NICK CAVE & BAD SEEDS: One of the only major venue concerts worth attending this year. Polymaths Nick Cave & Warren Ellis just keep getting better & better! (Did you know Nick Cave wrote a Western movie, “The Proposition”?) Warren Ellis’s CROOKED LITTLE VEIN is one of the best novels we have read — one with a true post-Internet consciousness. Clear and accessible, yet mysterious and haunting. Writing like this is the Future of Fiction. Warfield, SF.


() THUR-SUN SEPT 25-28. monochrom’s ARSE ELEKTRONIKA 2008. Be there or be…! Theme: “Do Androids Sleep With Electric Sheep?” A conference dealing with sex, technology and science fiction. Featuring the Prixxx Arse Elektronika 2008 Awards Ceremony (an unobjectionable award for sex machines, orgasmotrons and teledildonics), the presentation of the Arse Elektronika Anthology “pr0nnovation?”, a curated erotic reading about sex in SF/speculative/alt-reality fiction and — of course — a three day conference about critical perspectives on sexuality and pr0nography in science and social fiction (with keynote speeches by Rudy Rucker and Constance Penley).  Registration:

+++ THUR Sept 25 / 8PM, Prixxx Arse Elektronika 2008 Awards Ceremony, CELLspace / 2050 Bryant St/18th St, SF / doors open at 7pm) An unobjectionable award for sex machines, orgasmotrons and teledildonics. Hosted by monochrom’s Johannes Grenzfurthner and info maniac David Dempsey. Featuring Annalee Newitz, Jonathan Mann, etc. The winners will be honored with the “Golden Kleene”(*). Prixxx Arse Elektronika 2008 will be a dignified occasion — and so we invite you to dress up properly. Surprise us with sex and science fiction related costumes… and maybe win a “Golden Kleene”(*) yourself!

Also, monochrom will showcase a few advance copies of the first Arse Elektronika Anthology: “pr0nnovation?” Edited by Johannes Grenzfurthner, Günther Friesinger, Daniel Fabry. This book is being published by RE/Search (San Francisco) in cooperation with monochrom, spring 2009. Featuring: Michael Achenbach, Timothy Archibald, Peter Asaro, Thomas Ballhausen, Binx, Violet Blue, Jonathan Coopersmith, Mark Dery, Thomas Edlinger, Johannes Grenzfurthner, Ema Konstantinova, Tina Lorenz, Stefan Lutschinger, Kyle Machulis, Aaron Muszalski, Annalee Newitz, Carol Queen, Thomas Roche, Autumn Tyr-Salvia, Frank Apunkt Schneider, Katie Vann, Rose White, Amanda Williams, Katherina Zakravsky.

+++  FRI-SUN Sept 26-28 / 1PM-8PM, Arse Elektronika Conference (@ CELLspace / 2050 Bryant St, San Francisco / doors open at 12 noon)  “Do Androids Sleep With Electric Sheep?” This year’s conference will be structured around three day-long talks and discussion panels, each devoted to a specific theme. Featuring: Rudy Rucker, Constance Penley, Richard Kadrey, Simone Davalos, Daniel Fabry, Violet Blue, Jason Brown, Reesa Brown, Simone Davalos, Daniel Fabry, Karin Harrasser, Richard Kadrey, Verena Kuni, Isaac Leung, Mela Mikes, Susan Mernit, Chris Noessel, Kit O’Connell, Jens Ohlig, Bonni Rambatan, Bonnie Ruberg, Mae Saslaw, Nathan Shedroff, Viviane, Rose White, Sharing is Sexy (Scruffy Eudora, DJ Lotu5, J Bird), and many others.

+++  FRI Sept 26 9PM, doors open at 8 pm) Arse Elektronika Reading (@ Center for Sex & Culture / 1519 Mission St/11th St, SF / Carol Queen, with the support of the Center for Sex & Culture and co-sponsorship of San Francisco’s premiere SF/fantasy bookstore Borderlands, presents a curated erotic reading evening. Readers include Rudy Rucker, Richard Kadrey, M. Christian, Steven Schwartz, Charlie Anders, Carol Queen, Thomas Roche, and more.

() WED SEP 17, 7:30PM. PHILIP LAMANTIA memorial, Unitarian Center, Franklin/Geary Sts, SF, $5. V. VALE will pay homage, along with many others. Philip’s new book available!

() MON SEP 22, 8PM, CSC, 1519 Mission/11th St, SF – Screening of “SICK” – Bob Flanagan film. V. VALE will sell copies of the RE/Search “Bob Flanagan: Super-Masochist” book, plus a few other RE/Search books. $5.

() THUR OCT 2, 7PM “Punk, Presidential Politics, and Art”
A conversation between V. Vale of RE/Search and Jello Biafra All ages, $7-$10 sliding scale plus $2 annual membership. 924 Gilman St, Berkeley. Benefit for the progressive Berkeley Rent Board slate

() SEPTEMBER 2008 TOUR: The Films of Dean Snider, an anarchist wild man proto-Surrealist erotic rebel (R.I.P.)
East/West Coast Tour. Presented by Douglas Katelus and New Nothing Cinema. Please come out to see a program of rarely screened 16mm/35mm films. None of which are in distribution beyond the LIMITED edition DVD set that will be available at all shows.

9/12   Echo Park Film Center , Los Angeles CA   8pm
9/13   7 Dudley Cinema, Venice CA  7pm
9/23   Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo NY   8pm
9/25    Rutgers University, NJ
(email me for info)
9/26   Jefferson Presents, Pittsburgh PA   9pm
(outdoor show with BBQ)
9/27   Braddock, PA  (location TBA)  (outdoor show)
please email me for more info.
9/28   Anthology Film Archives, NYC  7:30pm

() Thur SEPT 25 Naut Humon/Li Alin group play SEATTLE, UOMO’S as part of the DECIBEL FESTIVAL

() Fri-Sun Oct 3-5 “1st Annual International Ambient Industrial Music Festival Lots of great acts for three days. Winston Tong is playing, also Illusion of Safety, Kwisp, Nux Vomica, Troum, and Voice of Eye.”-Walter Funk. Doors 7PM – Show 8PM until late. Orbis Nex, 851 81st Ave – Unit 217 (Dial 200 for gates), Oakland. 3-Day Package- $69 Single Ticket – $25/night

() Sat SEP 20, 7PM. FREE. Expressions Gallery’s Visual Music series presents ExoTV: Enigmatic Vision, Improvised electro-acoustic music with kinetic ambient animations by Mika Pontecorvo (Flute, Live electronic prcessing/Max MSP) and Adriane Pontecorvo (Cello). Expressions Gallery, 2035 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94703 (Near theAshby BART Station). 510-644-4930,
Contact: Loren Means,

() Fri Sept 26 5-9PM. Sat Sep 27 1-5PM. FREE. ART AT THE DUMP, 503 Tunnel Ave, SF CA 94134 – Reception for Artists in Residence at the San Francisco Dump. Re(F)use by Barbara Holmes and Tell Me Your Story by Casey Logan Re(F)use and Tell Me Your Story is the culmination of a four-month residency in which artists Barbara Holmes and Casey Logan made art from San Francisco’s discards. Go south on 101, EXIT “Candlestick Park / Tunnel Ave”. After the stop sign, continue forward on Beatty Road until you reach Tunnel Avenue. Turn right on Tunnel Avenue. Go a half block to 503 Tunnel Avenue. These events are fun!

() Sat Sept 13, 8PM, ODDBALL CINEMA, 275 Capp St, S.F. Here’s a rare program of Czech Visionary cinema: Karel Zeman’s (“The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”) “The Fabulous World of Jules Verne” is in a visual world all its own. It’s screening with famed animation/puppet maestro Jiri Trnka’s acclaimed short “The Hand.” –(Sorry this has already happened! But please watch for oddball cinema’s future film shows.)

() Sat OCT 11, 6PM “After-Crass” by Marian Wallace at the Raindance Film Festival, London, U.K.,2524,0,0,1,0
38 minute video featuring Gee Vaucher and Penny Rimbaud’s trip to California early in 2008. Includes piece from Penny’s performance, Gee’s artwork, and the screen prints from “Yo What Happened to Peace?” a traveling anti-war exhibit, instigated and curated by John Carr. Penny Rimbaud, Gee Vaucher and Marian Wallace will be there in person, so come and say hello if you’re in London-town! The film is playing with a Japanther documentary and a party with Japanther and Penny Rimbaud will follow at 8PM.,2670,0,0,1,0

October 2-10, 2008: San Francisco, Oakland. For FULL INFO:

5A. Stephane von Stephane’s column.

Pioneers of Punk, Fillmore July 26, 2008:

Target videos opened the evening early. I talked to Jill Hoffman, now living in Florida, and that was nice. Negative Trend went on first with a new vocalist, Paul Casteel; new bassist was Paul Hood. Early members were Craig Gray gtr and Steve Depace, drums. Roz was around and some of us wondered why he didn’t perform with them, but he seemed happy and the new singer was energetic and fit in well. In between acts there was a comedian, Neil Hamburger, whose entire schtick was to challenge people’s sensibilities. But, it wasn’t in a creative enough way to bother paying attention to — it was just like a pile of vomit, so that was a waste of time. When the Avengers played, Penelope mentioned that the guy seemed to be channeling Dirk Dirksen, but she was being “kind” with that statement. Dirk was actually endearing in HIS provocativeness.

Next up were The Mutants, and they were fabulous. “Colorful” was always a good word to describe them — I always thought of them as the West Coast’s B-52’s, only lyrically more talented. They had go-go dancers — Sally’s brother performed in drag. They had a guy in a revolutionary war outfit shooting streamers and confetti into the crowd out of a giant tube “gun.” They had films of Bruce Conner (photographer extraordinaire) who passed away recently. Best of all, they had Ruby Ray (also a great photographer) sitting on the side of the stage in a bathrobe at a “breakfast” table, reading the newspaper as the show went on. There were loaves of bread on the table and she was making endless toast, stacking it up once it popped up out of the toaster. Then Sue would toss it out to the audience. Sally, Sue, Freddie, John, Brendan, Paul and Dave were all in good form and good voice. My favorite all-time Mutants song is “Opposite World” and so I was happy to hear that, along with all the other standards, “Insect Lounge,” “New Dark Ages,” etc.

Way too much time between sets with this Hamburger guy doing “comedy.” Then the Avengers came on and put on one of the best shows they’ve ever done. A mosh pit formed almost immediately in the front of the stage and the younger attendees got to pogoing. The last time I seriously endured a mosh pit was for Jane’s Addiction sometime in the 90s. But back in the day in S.F. the pogoing was communal and gentler. The L.A. style was the out-of-control, intent-to-maim stuff. Way more angst in L.A. and it’s too bad that that is the lasting legacy of the mosh pit experience. Anyway, Penelope was striking, and the band was brilliant. I’ve always loved the song “Corpus Christi” and they played that. Great versions of “Escapee,” “Paint it Black,” and “We Are The One.” I finally got Avengers merch: the T-shirt with the Marcus Leatherdale photo is now my favorite attire.

Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, the headliners, Flipper, appear. Seems several people had to leave; maybe their baby-sitters weren’t allowed to work late. Those who stuck around were treated to a great set. Bruce stal-ked the stage as usual, Ted kept his back turned almost the whole time. Steve drummed up a storm, and Krist Novoselic (ex of Nirvana) worked his magic. The overall feeling was almost trance-inducing, and I mean that in a good way. I was so tired though, after 5 hours of Punk Rock, that Kurt Cobain could have been resurrected and joined in on the encore of “Sex Bomb” and I still would have just wanted to get home. In my defense, I had spent the afternoon at The Madrona Lounge on Divisadero listening to some excellent ambient music by SpaceTime Continuum and others, so it was a unusually long day of music for me. Glad I did it all, though. ~Stephane von Stephane

Excerpts from Interview with Flipper guitarist, Ted Falconi, August 13th.
Ted picked the noisiest outdoor corner cafe in the known universe, the Can’t Fail Cafe in Emeryville, where trucks and helicopters abound.
Back in the original punk rock days of the late 70’s, Ted used to pop over to my house on Coronado in Oakland out of the blue and hang out and draw the Flipper logo on walls and tables, etc. Whenever I feel a tad lazy, I think of the time Ted was telling of his army days and proclaiming a method of incentive for propulsion:  “You may not think you can drop and do 50 push-ups right now, but if you can do 10 today, and add one tomorrow and one more each day, before you know it, you WILL be doing 50 push-ups.” I tried it, and it’s true.
S.v.S.: How did that Flipper fish logo get invented? It’s almost as iconic as the Screamers logo in punk graphic lore.
T.F.: Our first show was in ’78, Golden Gate Park in the band shell near the Aquarium. The King Tut show was going on at the time, we were looking at  the exhibit and all the people in line. At the time the band name was John Doe, literally — that was the name. Then later we were shut down, and we were cleaning up, and then all these kids came running out of the aquarium and saying “Flipper, Flipper, we wanna see Flipper again!” And Will thought, “Wish we had that kind of an audience.” Plus, all of Ricky Williams’s pets were named Flipper and so we thought it would be an easy name for him to remember. It was the anti-punk name, not like ‘Kill Your Mother’, ‘Millions of Dead Cops’. And the fish logo — well, we weren’t some smiley face like the Darwin fish; so stick some teeth in there, and drunk?, yeah; so cross the eyeballs out.  So you’ve got some f-cked-up piranha running around. That was us.
S.v.S.:  Were you guys on tour in Europe recently?
T.F.:  Yeah, last year — it was great. We were in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. We played this show at a seashore resort that Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth put on with Live Nation. The resort was closed during the winter, so they put on these shows. The bands started at 3 o’clock and went on till midnight on 3 stages. Thurston Moore had like a week of programming on a local channel and he picked a theme and it was “the history of film,” so he picked a bunch of films to play the whole time it was going on, from Nosferatu  to John Cage to B-movies. There were also pinball machines, and arcade games, and tents set up with giant sports bars and big screens with soccer games on. So, it was like a whole center where you could go for 3 days and never not be entertained. There were 4000 people there.
S.v.S.: Who were some of the other bands?
T.F.:  The night we played, a techno band opened, then we went on, Melvins went on, Iggy Pop went on, then Sonic Youth closed the first night. MC5 headlined the last night. This year I think the Melvins are gonna be doin’ it, so we’re trying to get on the bill. We’re going to be over there anyway in Austria a few days before that, so we want to go do it again. We’ll be in Czech republic, Serbia, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, England.
S.v.S.:  So, how was it in Ireland (the land of my people)?
T.F.: It was great; we wished we’d had a day off. We drove by the Guinness factory on Sunday and they were closed, unfortunately. But there were so many great seafood places on the Atlantic coast. These places had like 40 different kinds of fish. I’ve been into eating fish on the nights of a show because it’s light and has lots of protein. So I’ve been collecting all these fish recipes in the different cities we’ve been in. I analyze the flavors and try to figure out how they make them. There’s gonna be a Flipper cookbook coming out soon!
S.v.S.: So no days off, no down time?
T.F.: Well, the best couple of tours we went on, Steve and I brought our bikes and before sound check we’d take off and ride all over town and go back to do sound check, then have dinner and then go riding again till the show. We got to see more of Europe than some Europeans ever get to see. We had bike boxes and bikes that you put together, so they fit on the tour bus well.
S.v.S.: So, tell us about the new album.
T.F.: Seven or eight months ago we started recording up at Krist’s place up in Washington, then came down here. Steve and I went into the studio and spent a week mixing, then went back up North — the guitars weren’t loud enough. Because of the incompatibility of the program, we started over again. Jack and Dino, who did a bunch of the stuff for Nirvana, listened to what we had done and tried to make the same moves based on what we had to deal with — based on the same types of sounds, so the levels are a little bit changed, and we changed a few other odds and ends, and finished mixing up there.

The title I’ve been wanting to do is “Red Moon,” because when we recorded it there was a big lunar eclipse. When you get an eclipse, it doesn’t block it out completely; it just makes a big red spot that goes over the moon. Then the next idea I came up with was the idea of the Myth of the Eternal Return. You know, “We’re b-a-c-k!”  The snake with the tale in his mouth, so I was gonna take a fish and elongate it, and then call it “Spawn and Die.” Also, I asked Bruce for all the lyrics and maybe they’ll be an overlap in words, and that’s what we’ll want to use.
S.v.S.: Have you ever written any lyrics for Flipper?
T.F.: No, I’m not a poet…and ya know, lyrics are….superfluous babblings.
S.v.S.: Yeah, who needs words? All guitar, all the time! [end]
Flippers’ American leg of the Tour starts sept. 4th  in Washington. Look up the MySpace page for the entire schedule.

6. What We Did (reverse order): See V. Vale’s blogs at www. and – Did we mention that V. Vale and Cliff Roman, WEIRDOS guitarist, played (4) songs at Queens Nails Gallery back in July 25, with a great improv vocalist named Bee? (The video is very funny). Watch for more “comeback” “concerts”! Also, Mon August 1, 8-midnite, V. Vale played piano at one of the best bars in S.F., the Homestead (Folsom/19th St), owned by Raub Shapiro.

7. What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent: see V. Vale’s blog at www.

() Camerawork Magazine, a beautiful local production from Chuck Mobley & Associates. Thought-provoking.

() J.G. Ballard Autopsia del nou mil-lenni. This museum catalog, containing an essay on Ballard by V. Vale, boasts superior production values that make us envious. There is an exhibition/conference celebrating J.G. Ballard in Barcelona right now. For more information go to

() The Germs docu-drama titled “What We Do Is Secret” — we saw an advance screening of it in August at Dolby Labs, courtesy of Steve Indig. A couple weeks ago we went to a concert by Meri St. Mary (who has a son by Bruce Loose, Flipper vocalist), in the basement of the Li Po lounge (Grant Ave near Washington St, SF) and afterwards Meri and some of her friends came over, including her accompanist, guitarist J. Neo Marvin, videographer Davis Jones (, and Subterranean Records founder Steve Tupper. The topic of the Germs movie came up and Meri remarked, “I heard it was a piece of s–t.” My reactions were more, well, “complex.” I had heard from Cliff Roman, Weirdos guitarist, that the film director had talked to a lot of the original people from “back in the day,” in an attempt to make his film as “authentic” as possible, and had bought Punk posters from Cliff. Nevertheless, the director had a huge roster of people to pay as listed in the ending credits, and each person had to “do something” to get their paycheck.

Nobody “back in the day” could afford clothes as brand-new-looking, and hairstyles as perfectly coiffed, as the film depicted. But the wardrobe people and hairdressers had to “earn their keep.” We never really know about the inner life of the allegedly highly intelligent person who called himself “Bobby Pyn” and then “Darby Crash.” We never really know WHAT Darby Crash’s “Five Year Plan” really contained. Back in the day it was whispered that his philosophical ethos was based on the highly taboo “Mein Kampf,” mixed with input from Nietzsche, Charles Manson, Aleister Crowley and who knows who else.

Docudramas can certainly mess with one’s personal memories. For example, I remember Darby Crash as being about five foot two, with exceptionally “bad” crooked teeth (which made him seem vulnerable and “cute”), quite shy, soft-spoken, not confident, and obviously very thoughtful. Pat Smear seemed about a foot taller than Darby. Lorna Doom smiled a lot and seemed very focused and intent on trying to play her bass lines as accurately as possible. Don Bolles was exactly as depicted in the film (well, skinnier in real life); whoever played Rodney Bingenheimer just “nailed” him, with his voice. Brendan Mullen in real life was blonde and a lot better looking, and Kickboy Face/Claude Bessy — wasn’t quite right, somehow, and neither was Black Randy. Penelope Spheeris — yes, that was how she looked back then. The concert room at the Masque — I don’t remember ANY room in the Masque being THAT LARGE. They really were tiny rooms in a basement off a long hallway, all painted in dark or garish colors. In 1977, there wasn’t even that much graffiti on the walls — the rise of graffiti everywhere came a bit later.

Someone else suggested that the film should have been made in black and white, like “Control,” the docu-drama on Joy Division. That sounds promising, like another film could still be made… Aaron Rose pointed out that “the best thing about the movie is that the GERMS reformed and are touring live again, with actor SHANE WEST (who played Darby in the film) as Lead Singer! Now THAT’S Punk Rock!”

() Filmmaker James Clauser visited us from Nashville, TN and gave us a DVD of his somewhat shocking documentary, “The Aluminum Fowl” — about a small group of young African-Amercans who took up co-ck-fighting. Big Animal Rights protest when it aired at the Sundance Film Festival. Google him.

() Had a great talk with a filmmaker/publisher/artist/gallerist Aaron Rose whose documentary film “Beautiful Losers” chronicles street artists who’ve kind of “made it big”: Shepard Fairey, Chris Johanson, Mike Mills, Geoff McFetridge, and the deceased Margaret Kilgallen, Barry McGee’s wife. His film is playing RIGHT NOW at The Lumiere Theater — see it! Aaron Rose also co-edits the ANP Quarterly/RVCA, a large, free, kind of “edgy” art/pop culture color “magazine” . Among his many witty observations: “You can Google your way to the information, but you can’t Google your way to the experience.” “The experience is when life lives…” “All great movements of the past have been D.I.Y. Thomas Edison was D.I.Y. So was Marie Curie, and Einstein. The Cave Painters were D.I.Y.” Another idea (which I question): “You no longer need Manifestoes nor a body of Theory. All you need… is To Connect! (through the Internet)”

() Kenny Goldsmith, creator of perhaps our favorite website, “ubuweb” telephoned us and said he “had been inspired by RE/Search’s work since the early 80s, when he did a radio show at WFMU.” He said, “You put uncompromising, risky material in a design that looked beautiful and elegant. I thought, `Why does everything “edgy” have to be ugly? Why can’t something be both edgy AND beautiful?’ You figured this out before anyone else. And in ubuweb we try to have extremely edgy content in an open, extremely elegant, beautiful, uncluttered, unadvertised space. Minimalism..” He ordered copies of our PRANKS and our PRANKS 2 books for a college class he will be teaching… I asked him who the “new Zizek” is (in terms of academia, theory, and “hipness” and he replied, “Jacques Ranciere.”) Hmmm…

() James Rugg (, sent us two rather disturbing chapbooks: “The Dick Troutman Handy-Dandy Pocket Guide to Successful Suicide (Get It Right the First Time!)” written by Dick Troutman and Brian “James” – the back cover lists about a dozen other titles such as “Killing Big Game with a Small Caliber.” The other book was titled “Ultimate James” – from – you can write — these are definitely provocative little books (about 3×5 inches).

() We had an interesting conversation with Marc Greuther, who is the curator of industrial collections at the Henry Ford Museum. He sent us some very interesting essays he wrote on topics like “The Persistence of Memory” and also sent us an article in the New Yorker (7-28-08) “The Eureka Hunt: Why do good ideas come to us when they do?” Most amazingly, he later sent us a copy of “BUCKMINSTER FULLER: Starting with the Universe” (based on a show in NYC at the Whitney, **NOW through Sept 21). As a longtime Bucky Fuller fan, I am delighted at the prospect of hours of study of his DRAWINGS, PLUS the privilege of reading an essay by CALVIN TOMKINS (our favorite living “art critic”) on Bucky Fuller. I need to read about Fuller’s relationship with Isamu Noguchi. Of course, we feel that any book on Bucky Fuller is worth reading…

() JOHNNY & GISELLE BREWTON sent us another incomparable art package titled “BAGAZINE 3.” Anything Johnny does is evocative of the era of Victorian handmade quality. If money possibly equated justice, we recommend you send a neatly folded twenty-dollar bill to X-Ray Book Co, PO Box 2234, Pasadena CA 91102. You will be more than delighted with whatever you receive. Or go to and prepare to be dazzled.

() “What if the Greatest Story Ever Told was a lie?” Go to Robb Wood has produced both a film and a documentary-compilation book, “The Priory of Sion Dossiers,” which could be the next “Da Vinci Code.” Contact 1244 Films, 15335 Morrison St #306, Sherman Oaks CA 91403 if you know of a theater in your town or city which would be interested in exhibiting this film.

() Our longtime friend Kent Beyda sent us “Don Bolles on KPFK” – a CDR, plus a mystery book by Colin Cotterill, “The Coroner’s Lunch.” We can’t wait to read this one. For some reason, this gift package was misfiled and we just discovered it and it made our day…

() We highly recommend you order ANTIBOTHIS Vol. 2 (magazine and the CD package) from —  — po box 2274, 1107-001 Lisboa, Portugal. contact  — this contains contributions from Andrew McKenzie of the Hafler Trio, Carl Abrahamsson, Erik Davis, and others. “ANTIBOTHIS is a collection of book anthologies featuring texts, interviews showcasing a variety of ideas that are a genuine alternative to the dogma of conformity, the commitment to disconnect the cables of corporhate coolonization, disinverting cultural reality through the dissemination and dispersion of alternatives, vortices of information and infinite chaotic propaganda, speculation, simulation, stimulation, to revolutionize the dynamics of life in a total process of cultural transformation, reclaiming our guts and revolt in the name of imagination in opposition to a toxic life of low awareness, herd mentality and programmed thought…”

() Thanks to the Hypnodrome, we met Noel Lawrence just before he moved to Los Angeles. He is the curator of the J.X. Williams Archive. Noel was kind enough to gift us with a copy of “The Atrocity Exhibition” film, plus copies of “Peep Show & Selected Shorters and “Sex Crimes of the 21st Century” from — we hope to give a “review” of all of these cinematic offerings, in the future.

() In August 2008 we attended the Awards Ceremony at S.F. Art Institute for Christopher Coppola’s “PAHFEST” (Project Accessible Hollywood) and saw some award-winning films made especially for the Pahfest Competition. Google “PahFest” and you can see hours of other independent films. This is truly an amazing yearly event — next year, don’t miss it! It’s FREE, too. We talked with legendary sound designer Richard Beggs and met the one man filmmaking dynamo and local treasure ROB NILSSON, who has been making films with near-homeless folk from the Tenderloin for decades — don’t understand why we were unaware of his existence. He recently released a 9-DVD Box Set of some of his films, and had retrospectives at the Roxie Theater in S.F. and the Rafael Theater in San Rafael. Google him…

8. RECOMMENDED LINKS – thanks to our friend Phil G, Ferrara, James McN-, & Others who sent us the below:

() V. Vale appears – go to iTunes, find “Record Geek” then “Episode Four” – download and watch. FREE! Thanks to Oscar Arce, formerly of Amok Books, now producing “Record Geek Show.” Also check out:

() “Hi Vale – It looks like Time Magazine just profiled the installation I’m working on out here in Massachusetts…. Chris Cobb”  also, CRASS covers:

() from phil g: prank calls: naive art:  museum chaos:  quotes from alfred:  bath costs man job:  paintings by Fred Einaudi:

() – website of Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong!

() Gregory Crewdson website:

() new yorker:

() those little books:

() from James Stark: Photos:
YouTube Video:

() from Johnny Strike:  rudos and rubes:

() snailman:

() from Binky: Century of the Self:

() from Elliott S: very good breakdown of McCain’s LIES about Barack Obama.

() James Howard Kunstler intv:

() from SM Gray: tattoo photos:, or and click on MORE PHOTOS.

() from Graham Rae: Tom Cruise  also see: and then this rap: – It’s from a Philippino midget James Bond parody starring the 2.5-foot dwarf Weng Weng.

() Iggy Pop’s stolen gear (Aug 4, 2008, Canada) still missing:

() Does a felon live near you?

() semiotics?

() from J. Neo Marvin & Davis Jones: … /The_Slits.swf … /Get_Out.mp3  … /Democracy.mp3 — also, check out their CDs “X-tal: Who Owns Our Dreams?, J. Neo Marvin & The Content Providers: “What Is Truth?” and “Freedom Fried” and “Slowly I Turned.” Free radio programs, films, photographs, interviews, and other content!! (I must have met J. Neo Marvin back in 1978, when he was a student at U.C. Santa Cruz.)


() “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.  He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” – Albert Einstein

() “Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.” “I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should’ve been more specific.” — Lily Tomlin

() “Instead of buying new things, my friends trade clothes with each other.” – quote from “RETAILERS Catch Teenage Blues, “Niche Apparel Stores, Long Thought Resistant to Downturn, Suffered with Others in July.” – WSJ 8-8-08


() “Dear Charles Gatewood: I just wanted to tell you how much I love your photo of Wynter Ravenheart on the cover of the RE/Search book “Modern Pagans.” I suspect you’ve heard this many times but there is something so beautiful and serene about the photo while at the same time edgey and dangerous. It is the serene quality of Wynter’s eyes, however, which captures the attention and dominates the mood of the photo. It’s certainly one of the best portraits I’ve ever seen. Thank you, Lawrence M. Kelley”

() – Iranian army footage. sent by James McN. Lyrics to this song are pretty amazing:
KMFDM – World War 3
I declare war on the world
War in outer space
I declare war in a nutshell
War all over the place

I declare war on every government
War against all odds
I declare war on your inner sanctum
On your blood thirsty gods

World war three!
Be all that you can be!
World war three!

I declare war on the axis of morons
All out war on complacent consent
I declare war on the war against drugs
Rape and Slaughter of the innocent

War on big brother
Warmongers and profiteers
War on your dogma dubya
Armageddon’s engineers

World war three!
Be all that you can be!
World war three!

War in a heartbeat
I declare war on so-called civilization
World trade globalization
Organized disinformation

War on ambassadors of pretense
War on MTV and CNN
Macdonald’s, alt disney and bethlehem
On christina, britney and eminem

I declare war on the world of anti-choice
On violent unilaterality
On the amassment of murderous high-tech toys
And all crimes against humanity

War on the moral majority
On imperialism
On mindlessly bumbling stupidity
And police-state terrorism

World war three – be all that you can be

() A set of 8 SEARCH & DESTROY tabloids from 1977-79 are STILL AVAILABLE for only $30 from www. –, or 415-362-1465. Complete set of 11 issues (a few left) are $100 plus shipping. (C’mon; they’ve been archived for 30 years; imagine those storage charges alone!)
SEPT 2008 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by
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