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V. VALE RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER NOV 2010: What if the Earthquake HAPPENED?!, New York Films R.I.P.


2. Counter Culture Hour with STEVE TUPPER: 6 PM Pacific Time, Sat Nov 13 – SF cable channel 29, also simulcast on-line (see below)
3. Knife in the Head (film) review, including some history about New Yorker Films and the Criterion Collection, by Michael Raines
5. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing
6. Obituary for Ari Up, singer for The Slits – by John Sulak
7. Recommended Links – send some!
9. Letters from Readers


1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR, V. VALE – “Hope for the Best, but Prepare for the Worst”!
Actually, it’s very hard to “Prepare for the Worst.” Remember Y2K? Supposedly, at midnight New Years Eve 2000, computer clocks would reset/fail, and planes would fall from the sky. We wouldn’t be able to get coffee anymore, and we were told to stockpile bottled water, batteries, candles, canned food, brown rice, lentils, beans, etc. But did a Y2K disaster happen? No.
Now, the 1989 earthquake was “apocalypse extra-lite.” Our North Beach office went without electricity for a week or less — and North Beach without electricity is extremely DARK — even a 3 D-cell Maglite barely sufficed to illuminate our steep alley. But fairly soon, a few nearby streets had electricity and restaurants there were filled, although the city still seemed kind of “weird.” The water, gas lines and landline telephones (this was before cellphones) never stopped working; we had our hot baths by candlelight. JG Ballard called to see if we were still alive; only the most sensational footage of burning buildings had been aired on international TV, but that was just a block or two in the Marina neighborhood. In our office, nothing fell down — not even our lava lamp. It was kind of “fun” living with candles for a few days, and we had plenty of food at home. A portable battery-powered radio brought us news and music. The day the earthquake happened, some gas stations quit working (to pump gas requires electricity) but apparently they were restored fairly soon.
Our friend M___ started keeping an “earthquake backpack” by his door, filled with a tiny survivalist sleeping bag, knife, gun & ammo, water purifier, etc. He carried it with him for awhile, but it got heavy and he started leaving it by the door. Now, after 20+ years, this backpack has gotten pretty dusty! Whenever he goes out, he just carries a knife and tiny but powerful flashlight. He still looks with disbelief at people who wear flip-flops and light sandals: “What if the earthquake happened?!” (He always wear heavy hiking boots.) But…
In the Fifties, thousands of American dads dug out bomb shelters under their suburban homes and lined the shelves with canned goods, blankets, candles, portable radios, etc. What happened to all of them? Somebody should make a documentary about this! These bomb shelters could be like time capsules of another era…
Right now we know people who are planning to move to other countries, because they fear the imminent collapse of the American dollar (how can you print trillions of dollars without any “backing”?! ) We ourselves have never in our lives seen so many empty buildings in San Francisco — someone should make a documentary from a car just showing all the empty storefronts and “For Rent” signs here, or start a website documenting and updating this, keyed to an aerial map. The realtors and developers and official newspapers keep maintaining the fiction that recovery is right around the corner, but how long can they keep fooling everybody?
Everybody who’s working is mostly pushing paper around, making phone calls, “marketing” or “distributing” or doing “retail” or “wholesale.” Do YOU know anybody who actually has a REAL job: making something useful, fixing something broken (like plumbing or a car), or doctoring or dentisting ailing humans? How about welding or carpentry or food-growing or sewage plant maintenance? Fixing broken elevators? I walked down five stories of stairs today rather than wait, because one of the elevators in a local building was out, and the sole remaining elevator was getting “all screwed up” because so many people were pushing the “up” and “down” button, confusing the elevator “brain”…
What gives us hope? The next iteration of the iPhone or iPad or FaceBook or Twitter? The hundreds of new Apps? The January 2011 MacWorld Convention? The daily Boing Boing and Squidlist and SFFunCheap offerings? How about food? The most cheap fun comes from Off the Grid food trucks offering innovative burritos or French cuisine discounted or new kinds of cupcakes and cookies. TCHO and other local chocolatiers offer imaginative new “green” chocolate concoctions. Some people seek out extravagant cocktails or other alcoholic rareties, liqueurs, imported vintages and strong locally-crafted homebrews.
How about eBook readers, or reading books and magazines on the iPad? We at RE/Search are trying to “ramp up” to producing eBooks instead of printing thousands of books that just sit in a warehouse for years. But, there is a learning curve… Life now seems to be one long, continuous Learning Curve, with no end in sight. Everything connected with software, hardware and the world of digital audio/video production seems to us complicated and occasionally baffling and inexplicable — definitely NEVER SIMPLE. There’s always a new monkey-wrench… You search online forums for answers and rarely find a solution quickly…
Well, “we get by with a little help from our friends.” Friends — what would we do without them? We’re waiting for our friend O___ to help us “fix” our website ordering protocol which right now is less than ideal. In fact, an entire website “makeover” wouldn’t be a bad idea — this time using a software program we “pay” for. There’s always the future, and may it be brighter than the present! If Guardian Angels exist, please send us an Internet Whiz… 🙂

2. Counter Culture Hour – Sat November 13, 2010 (today!) – 6:00 PM PACIFIC TIME, featuring Steve Tupper of Subterranean Records, plus a record release show for the new Housecoat Project LP release, with Meri St Mary. Steve Tupper started an independent record label in the Bay Area in the late 1970s, and has kept his operation going through moving mostly into distribution over time. He is a first-generation Punk Rock enthusiast who created a living for himself of supplying others with music – producing and distributing. We talk about how, why, where and who from his escapades in Punk Rock.

Edited/produced by Marian Wallace; interviews by V. Vale.
The Counter Culture Hour (aka RE/SEARCH TV) is also ON-LINE as well as on cable access San Francisco Channel 29 — 6pm Pacific Time, Sat November 13, 2010 ALSO on-line (simulcast) – at this link:
You need a fairly decent internet connection and computer to “get it.”
USA west coast: 6:00 PM Saturday, Nov. 13
USA east coast: 9:00 PM Saturday, Nov. 13
London: 2:00 AM Sunday, Nov. 14
Tokyo: 10:00 AM Sunday, Nov. 14
If you cannot get this online (we have heard some complaints about this, although it seems to have been working for us of late), please write us to get a DVD copy. ($20 postpaid USA domestic, $25 overseas – to cover expenses/shipping).
Would you like to have a Counter Culture Hour showing in your town? Please write and ask us how you can do this. (write:

You can now see on youtube – ( one episode so far) Penelope Rosemont interview, in whole, on the “researchpubs” channel of youtube. Search for “CCH-Penelope Rosemont.” It is in 9 parts of approximately 6-7 minutes each, which can be strung together in a playlist to see the full show uninterrupted. More episodes will follow.

3. Knife in the Head review by Michael Raines

It was a tragic day for all cinephiles and fellow “home” theater patrons when New Yorker Films closed its doors last year. In February 2009 the distribution house discontinued further circulation of hard-to-find or otherwise impossible-to-see art house films, ironically stamping the dreaded OOP (out-of-print) “seal of removal” on their entire catalogue of VHS, DVD’s, and 35mm prints. While a healthy sum (but by no means all) have been carefully picked up and re-packaged by its flashier and more handsome younger brother, The Criterion Collection, films like Loin du Vietnam (Far from Vietnam), Me and My Brother, Four Nights of a Dreamer, Diabolo Menthe (Peppermint Soda), and Messer im Kopf (Knife in the Head) remain unbearably difficult too obtain–let alone buy.

So it came as a significant surprise when I found myself holding New Yorker’s release of Messer im Kopf (Knife in the Head) on VHS from a local Santa Cruz video store. Hidden between the dusty isles of “cool flicks from the 80’s” and “family fun times!” this extremely well-preserved copy felt like the discovery of a lifetime, yet my excitement was met with a level of suspicion and fear. Could any film ever live up to the outrageously high standard I’d romanticized it to be? For all the films I’ve flushed out of my system, there’s been only a handful that nourished my irrational craving. Which is why, I am elated to admit, that Kopf rifts through my ballyhoo, cementing itself as one of the Rahm der Crème (German translation: Crème de le Crème) films of German cinema.

Having sustained a bullet to the head during a police raid at a youth center, Berthold Hoffman wakes up only to find himself a changed man. With a loss of memory and the inability to properly speak, move or remember, Hoffman occupies the duration of the film regaining and restoring his sense of self, while the forces of the Federal Republic peg him as a terrorist and the terrorist fashion him a hero (comparable, in ways, to Fassbinder’s Muther Kuster).

It would be easy to sympathize with Hoffman, believing him the victim of a police brutality cover-up, but then again, we aren’t given any credible source from the beginning what Hoffman actually was before the shooting. We are only left with a handicapped Hoffman of present; his singular will to persevere, survive, and ultimately to understand and assemble the events that led to this fateful night.

We’ve seen this all-to-common cinematic device in everything from Spellbound to Bourne Identity, but it’s Bruno Ganz’s performance and the meticulously focused direction, that gives it its sly edge. The charisma of Reinhard Hauff’s grossly underappreciated German masterpiece rests in its duality, serving both as a quite and dignified psychological whisper and as a politically fused, Neo-noir shriek. It’s a film that relishes on the dubious actions of one specific and catastrophic moment, and the outcome it bears on its equally ambiguous protagonist. Hauff’s complete lack of interest to categorize, simplify, or blame is precisely what defines and perpetuates the film well after the collapse of the wall. It’s a film that, not unlikeThe Lives of Others, contains a warm humility from both sides of the political spectrum.

Kopf has become the quintessential example of the obscure and unobtainable; the Holy Grail of tapes that has come to plague so many film aficionados. It’s a film that I’ve arduously sought out, finding only in its shadow poorly subtitled, third generation bootlegs, with the occasional video still — unearthed after pages of Google image results (just look up knife in the head and you’ll see what I mean). Its value (according to amazon or eBay) implies that we may never see a newly restored, high definition digital transfer, and that it may forever flounder in some video store corner of obscurity.

Footnote: There’s hope at the end of the screen. Having recently learned that New Yorker re-hired its longtime staff, acquired back all of its 400 or so films, and is anticipating the release of four to six new films in the year to follow; Kopf just might be brought to justice and garner its much deserved attention and appreciation in the years to come. And like Berthold Hoffman, let’s demand some answers if it doesn’t. –Michael Raines,

4. FORTHCOMING EVENTS (San Francisco unless Otherwise Noted)

() FREE Sun Nov 14, 1-7pm, Real Mercantile (Artists’ Selling Their Art) at Chicken John’s, 3359 Cesar Chavez (Army St) @ Mission St, SF.

() $ Now through Dec 19, 2010: “Pearls Over Shanghai.” Hypnodrome, 575 10th St, SF: go to for a schedule of their current Grand Guignol offerings!

() FREE Thurs Nov 18, 11AM-6PM, UN Plaza, Market St @ 7th St: SF ARTS MARKET. Free Music & Off the Grid food trucks til 2pm. Free booths for Artists & Art Organizations!

() FREE Wed Nov 17, 7:30pm – Bill Berkson & Simon Pettet reading work by James Schuyler at Books & Bookshelves, 99 Sanchez/14th St, S.F.
Thur Nov 18, 7:30pm – Switchback Magazine Issue 12 Release Party featuring Kelci Baughman McDowell, Faith Adiele, Jamey Genna, Brian Martin, Donna Laemmien, Danny Bracco, Candy Shue & Nicholas Leaskou, & more

() $ Fri-Sat Nov 19-20 – LEGENDARY PINK DOTS at Café Du Nord, 2170 Market St, SF. 30+ Year Anniversary Tour!

() $ Sat Nov 20 – GOAT FLUFFER at the Oakland Metro with Polkacide, also Dec 10th at the Stork Club for Death Rock Dive Bar.

() FREE Tue Nov 23, 6-8pm, Modernism West, 2534 Mission/21st St, SF. Andreas Nottebohm Blood Artist – video

() $ Fri Nov 26 ANNIE (of Annie’s Social Club) WHITESIDE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY @ Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk St @Post St, SF.
THE HI-NOBLES (members of The Avengers / The Pleasure Kills) UNKO ATAMA (New Album “Another Creature” now available) Birthday party starts at 8pm / Doors for show open at 9pm / Show at 9:30pm. 21+

() FREE Fri Nov 26, 6pm Bring your Bike & Join CRITICAL MASS Justin Herman Plaza, SF (Market @ Embarcadero / Ferry Building). Bring: Bike, Light, Helmet, Costume!

() FREE Wed Dec 1 – (Every 1st Wednesday): Exploratorium 3601 Lyon between Lombard and Crissy Field.

() FREE.Thur Dec 2 (Every 1st Thursday): Art receptions @ 49 Geary 5:30-7:30pm Art PARTY! 30 galleries in a 5-story building. Also 14 geary and 77 Geary till 8pm.

() $ Fri Dec 3, 7pm & Sat Dec 4, 7pm: Olivier Bonin’s Burning Man Film, “Dust and Illusions,” screens at Bal Theater, 14808 East 14th St, San Leandro, CA. – RE/SEARCH will Try to Attend! Buy Advance tickets at:

() FREE Sat Dec 4, 12-7pm SantaCon SF!/event.php?eid=151506668225682

() FREE Sat Dec 4, 7-10pm, Lower Haight Art Walk: Holiday Edition – 400-700 blocks of the Lower Haight

() $2 Sat, December 4, 11-5pm, BENEFIT RECORD SWAP-FAIR, 21 Grand, 416 25th St, West Oakland, CA. 21 Grand has not been able to have shows, but they need help to pay the rent. We’ve set up a benefit record swap/record fair with some really out there music collectors to bring you a one-of-a-kind marketplace for rarities, obscurities, and total head scratchers in the vein of … what you’ve come to expect from 21 Grand’s programming! As well as new releases direct from local labels. ***$2 donation entry fee.*** Get in touch if you want to rent a table: (George Chen).!/event.php?eid=160820803938250

() FREE Tue Dec 7 (Every 1st Tues) SF Moma + DeYoung + Palace of Legion of Honor FREE! ART/ museum days.

() $ Dec 10: Jill Tracy appears in “Noel Noir” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 3rd-4th St/Mission-Howard St, SF.

() FREE Ryan McGinley Photo Show “Life Adjustment Center” at Ratio 3, 1447 Stevenson St, SF 94103. / / Tel 415.821.3371

() FREE (TEXAS). Now til Jan 30, 2011. Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage Artist’s first solo museum show in 25 years. Includes re-creation of the Merzbau. This is a good reason to visit Houston! Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross Street, Houston, Texas 77006 Tel 713-525-9400

() FREE (FRANCE) Now til 28 November 2010, BRION GYSIN: DREAMACHINE Art Show at Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes, 11 rue Docteur Dolard, 69100 Villeurbanne France

() DEVO CONCERT POSTPONED – New date will be March 18, 2011 (was Sat Nov 13) The Warfield, SF (Amazing to remember that we first saw this band 33 years ago in 1977 at the Mabuhay Gardens, S.F. Are we dreaming?! See this DEVO Show, or die depressed…!) For more info go to

5. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent

In the December 2010 newsletter we will produce a diary listing and reviewing all the books, magazines & other media which have been received by us for review, and which we have spent dozens of hours reading, studying, or watching. We went to APE, Expo for the Artist, the Southern Exposure Local Art Publisher Fair, and met dozens of interesting “creatives” – some of whom gifted us with their personal treasures. But for now, we’re going to bed! It’s already 2AM on Friday night, Nov 12, 2010. 🙂

6. Ari Up, singer for The Slits, R.I.P. (17 January 1962 – 20 October 2010) by John C. Sulak
Ariane Daniele Forster, better known as Ari Up, died last month. It was reported that the cause of death was a “serious illness” but there were no other details available. I was kind of shocked to find out. Less than a year ago she played at The Bottom of The Hill in San Francisco with The Slits and she had looked great, with waist-length dreadlocks that she kept in motion as she jumped around the stage. Ari promised the audience that she’d be back to town soon to promote a new Slits album, which made this unexpected news even sadder.
The Slits were one of the original London Punk bands and played many of the same venues as the Clash and The Sex Pistols. (Johnny Rotten eventually ended up marrying Ari’s mother!) But they were the last band from that scene to be signed to a recording contract, and their first album, “Cut,” wasn’t released until 1979. “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” a non-LP single issued at the same time, was popular in the clubs for a while. Tthey released one more album and quietly faded away. (SLITS were featured in RE/Search #1 tabloid)
Then, in 2005 Ari and original bassist Tessa Pollitt reformed The Slits. In the following years they played in San Francisco three times. I was lucky enough to see all three shows. Actually I was lucky to even hear about them – like many of the things that the Slits did during their original incarnation, these shows were not very well publicized or understood. They played in three different clubs, each one smaller than the previous, and the audiences also kept decreasing in size. At their last SF gig I think most of the people watching their set were from the local opening acts.
But this didn’t stop Ari, Tessa, and their newly-recruited bandmates from putting on a memorable performance. Much has been written since they recorded “Cut” about how important The Slits were as a trail-blazing female-fronted Punk band, and that is very true. But I don’t think they’ve gotten enough credit for just how good their songs were. Their lyrics and melodies from the ’70s, which had been written while the Slits were all teenagers, still sound fresh and original. And let it remembered that, in her mid-40s, Ari could still sing them with love, and with a big smile on her face… – John Sulak

7. RECOMMENDED LINKS (send some!)

() from Marc Olmsted: Burroughs on Broadway & Others trailer

() sent by Michael Raines: JG Ballard on Chris Marker’s “La Jetee”

() sent by VyVy: “walking stick – imagine getting one of these for a gift!!!

() from RU Sirius: songs he wrote lyrics for:

() from Dodo Newman:

() from Chris T: “Riot Grrrl zines”:

() Join the Yes Men movement :

() from Graham Rae: “Maggie T-shirt, Hilarious!”

() BuckyWorks: Buckminster Fuller’s Ideas for Today – new book from

() Burroughs: A Man Within – film trailer:

() from Stephen Holman:

() from Mark Weiss dba Earthwise of Palo Alto: “Maybe you want to post this link to a play that honors Stella Brooks, the SF jazz singer. It is written by Terry Abrahamson who says he is a cousin of the San Francisco chocolatier Babalou ? Terry and I met you at the Devo show…

() from Phil Wolstenholme:

() from Thierry Noir:

() from Phil G: “Tea ya in the funny papers” –

() from Mako Sano: William Gibson & new forms of fiction already here:
– Monty Python:
– Sally Cruikshank’s 1975 Quasi at the Quackadero:
– Harry the Hipster Gibson:

() “Hey, I just saw you in George Kuchar’s dinner video at your house. Nice cat.”

() from Karen M: “the making of the SRL Spine Robot’s Claw”:

() Keva Energy Saving Paint forms a heat barrier, flexible, and strong film which bridges cracks, prevents peeling, future cracks, growth of algae or fungi & prevents water seepage.

() Images from David Cronenberg’s forthcoming film on Sigmund Freud & Carl Jung:

() Through Nov 19, 2010: Annelies Strba at Jason McCoy Inc., New York, 41 East 57th St, New York, NY 10022 Tel: 212-319-1996 Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a -6 pm

() from Bruno R: “Old Handbills”:


I’ve put some 1,300 tweets on Twitter, and for a couple months regularly wrote “Status Updates” on FaceBook. But now I’m participating in the “Dialectics of Nature” and am back to my solitary ways. The following are quotes I DID NOT put on Twitter, although I may someday… For some “perverse” reason, I enjoy writing by hand in a paper notebook (aka “Composition Book,” the kind you can get at Walgreens for 99 cents on sale. My favorite pen is from Japan — our adopted son Yoshi Yubai sent a few to us. If you want to know the exact brand and model number, you have to write me! 🙂


() from Mako Sano:” Recently Bruce Sterling, one of the leading exponents of Cyberpunk science fiction, published a near-future romance based on the assumption that the decay of political systems will lead to a decentralized proliferation of experiments in living: giant worker-owned corporations, independent enclaves devoted to “data piracy,” Green-Social-Democrat enclaves, Zerowork enclaves, anarchist liberated zones, etc. The information economy which supports this diversity is called the Net; the enclaves (and the book’s title) are “Islands in the Net.”

() After almost an entire year of glancing longingly at my neglected copy of JG Ballard’s THE ATROCITY EXHIBITION signed by you and given to me as a Christmas gift from my fiancé, your former intern Stellar Cassidy, sandwiched between a shelf full of books written by friends to whom I feel indebted to prioritize on my reading list, I finally read it. And was absolutely blown away! Ballard’s detailed annotations throughout not only illuminated the story and shed light on his creative process but also gave the book a feeling of intimacy, as if JG didn’t really pass away all too recently. It was like he was there to psychically answer my wanderings and wonderings through his world before it could even articulate a question. Thank you, Vale, for recommending this great author’s finest work to me (almost a year ago now) at the Beat Museum and also for carrying Ballard and Burrough’s flame. If a great piece of art has the power to change one’s world view, and thus one’s world, this book has definitely changed my world. Again, thank you! – Nic Burrose (the secret secretaries, band featuring Stellar on drums & Nic on guitar)

() Yeah man! Francisco Ford Coppola’s “Tetro” was beautiful! Chock full of surprises and blind corners, personal and ‘big’ at the same time. Though, Gallo plays what is beginning to appear to be, himself… Legendary Pink Dots at the DuNord! Saw them last time they were there. Don’t know why why the band and Ka-Spel haven’t made a bigger splash – you can get none more psychedelic. – Scott Davey of Iguana Studios, now in Sacramento

() From Charles Oliphant: “I will tell you a secret I learned from a German DJ when I was at AFN Europe, in Frankfurt.
Wet Transfer:
1)Wash your Vinyl Record with Dish Soap and water, removing all dirt and debris. Blot-dry (don’t rub) with a Paper Towel, then dust off with a Compressed can of Air.
2) Take an Isomerizer/Misting Sprayer Bottle (the kind you use to spray ferns with)
3) Fill it with 50% Distilled Water/50% Isopropyl Alcohol
4) Spray it on the spinning vinyl record until it is totally coated with the liquid
5) Drop the needle on the record
6) The Needle will float it in the fluid, slightly suspending it
7) You will hear no scratches, pops or gouges
8) Record to your computer via a turntable with a USB connector
9) Use a program like Q Base that will record it in analog
10) Enjoy your Vinyl Record Collection on your computer for the rest of your life
CDs are not Hi-Fi, though DVDs can be.
CDS are compressions, they do not reproduce the Human Audible Range of 20HZ to 20KHZ
MP3s are not Hi-Fi
HD Radio, is NOT!
Cassette Tapes can be Hi-Fi, as can Reel-To-Reel Machines
This problem all came to pass when the Chairman of Sony, required his engineers to fit Beethoven’s 9th Symphony on one disc. Compression was required, therefore Dynamic Range was Sacrificed.
Vinyl is Final!
Now You Know “The Rest Of The Story!”

() “Hey VAle, MRR still sends all international orders to distributors via M-Bag, it’s REALLY HARD to do, they have moved the depot around a lot and they make it really difficult to use, the form is hard to fill out, every month they tell us we do not qualify for it, but we manage to do it anyway. We have to drive down to the depot at the airport to drop it off. I am sure they will eliminate it, but now I think it’s just not advertised as a service anymore?? You could email and ask Fred our distribution coordinator how he does it. – LAyla”

() “Hi Vale, Post Office M bags (to send books, printed matter, LPs) are not totally dead yet, just hard to track down. Pasting in information below from a friend Ariel who sorted some out earlier this year. Cheers, Stevphen
“M-bags are based on a post office that doesn’t exist anymore, when mail was shuffled from place to place in these massive bags and shipped (literally) all over the world. That is no longer the case. The bags are rarely used and there is no longer any global surface mail, it is all air.
“This means getting the bags could be a problem. The PO does not have them all the time and when they do they may not have many. So you should call before you go. The PO’s near my grandparents (delaware and ostrander, Ohio) was happy for me to come and pick them up and take them away to pack, but they don’t have to let you. They can make you pack them at the PO. Ostrander even said they would deliver them to me, but that seems to be a little village carrier being neighborly, they generally don’t, but you should ask. As far as anyone can tell me there is no mechanism for doing any of this over the internet.
“The PO jargon for all of this is:
a Number One bag (the M-bag)
PS Tag 158 (the M-bag addressee tag)
Forms 2976 and 2976-A (the customs forms) – you may want to call ahead for these as well. The tiny village PO (Ostrander) didn’t have any and said he would have to order them but the small town PO (Delaware) did have some, but not a lot.
“Weight and Pricing: Weight maximums vary from country to country, but generally they are 40# (twenty kilos) or 66# (thirty kilos). These restrictions are not set by the USPS they are set by the receiving countries. There is no weight minimum to mail but there is a minimum charge that generally starts at 11# (there seem to be a few inconsequential exceptions). So pricing is a flat fee for that first 11# and then an additional fee for each pound thereafter up to the weight maximum (which of course includes the tare for the bag). So shipping a 42# box of books home for Sissy and Tassos is $35.75 flat, plus $3.25 for each additional pound up to 66#. So a full bag is $136.50. Since shipping is by air it generally takes 5-10 days to travel but no guarantees are made and there is no way to track it. Pricing by country is here <>
“Generally you can pack them anyway you like just pack things well, securely and as tightly as you can. One could even simply place a box already to go in a bag and send it off. I asked just to be sure.
“USPS general page on m-bags <>
“This is the index to the USPS International Mail Manual (IMM), M-Bags are the first entry under M and there is a sub index to the detail pages <>
“This is that first page on M-bags <>
“Since I was doing the research to help Tassos and Sissy get their stuff home, I figured I would pass it on. It all came from phone conversations with the two POs closest to my grandparents’ house. I called, they picked-up and answered my questions. Gotta love the midwest. Hope it is useful to you. Best, Ariel”

() “Hi there Mr. Vale, long time no see. I wanted to turn you on to the BLDGBLOG website if you’re not a fan already. I find it to be one of the most consistently fascinating places on the web, dealing in speculative architecture with a strong Ballardian flavor, although it tacks a little more in the optimistic direction. Here’s a well stated pull quote I found out there from Steve Silberman of Wired:
“Geoff Manaugh’s BLDGBLOG is one of the most invigorating, subversive, visually engaging, and purely pleasurable outposts on the Net…The range of Manaugh’s restless intellect is breathtaking, incorporating everything from urban design to climatology, music, astronomy, pop culture, and much more. Under the guise of writing a blog about architecture, Manaugh has crafted a tribute to the world-transforming power of imagination itself. Along the way, he wrestles with some of the most athletic and ambitious minds of our time, including the late novelist J.G. Ballard, classicist Mary Beard, architect Lebbeus Woods, and urban theorist Mike Davis, author of “City of Quartz” and “Planet of Slums.”
“Here’s a good introduction to the offerings to be found there, an interview with “insurrectionary” architect Lebbeus Woods.
“Happy reading, and may the imagination triumph! – Ryon”

() “Darn, we gotta get together – I could go on for days about Phil Spector, the Wagner of pop music. What we don’t see, being so close to music, is that pop music is all about money and power; sometimes some art gets released as a byproduct (much like how “Touch of Evil” was supposed to be a “B” drive-in hack job).
“Spector was a master on the business side of things, and as you point out, a fascist of the highest degree. Read more about Brian Wilson, to learn more about PS; Brian was every bit a master as PS, but musicians loved to work with him – and these were the elite of the Hollywood studio scene, who were mostly jazz players who disdained the pop stuff they had to play to survive.
“PS was one of the architects of the myth of the teenager – re-read Wolfe’s “the first teenage millionaire”.
“But to really understand the music, go watch the excellent documentary, “The Wrecking Crew.” You can find it on bittorrent – it’s interviews with the Wall of Sound musicians, and puts the artistic side of things in proper perspective. Damn, PS has imagination. Analog, Mono, and obsessed. Ronnie Spector’s autobiography details how Phil kept her a slave in her house for years; her only close friend was Cher, who Sonny similarly abused.
“There was a box set of “Pet Sounds” that came out about 11 years ago – find a copy, and read the book; they interviewed every musician and engineer still around, great stories. Also see the “Brian Wilson presents Smile” DVD; a live performance (tremendously difficult music) and documentary. Brian is a lot more interesting than Phil, in my book. He ran with the concepts and had a deeper concern for artistic integrity. He was loved by the musicians because he treated them fairly, collaborated, and came up was fascinating “outsider” techniques for playing. The light side of the wall of sound yin-yan.
“Carol Kaye, Hal Blaine, and Tommy Tedesco were the heart and soul of the Wall of Sound – and I remember my jaw dropping one night when I realized they were in the house band for “Fernwood Tonight” on many occasions. And that little piano riff at the start of “Little Deuce Coupe” – Leon Wilson. The Wrecking Crew film is great because you realize it was one core group of musicians who played on 80% of the great pop music of the early sixties, from Frank Sinatra to Jan and Dean. Best, Phil”

() From JIMMY VARGAS, our AUSTRALIAN Musician Pal: “Hey Guyze, Did you get my DVDs yet: The Torchin at Tallulahs dvd? It is in Pal…for European release. But of course it plays on all computers. Hope you’re well. Jimmy Vee” Yes, the box arrived – we have to list his DVD on our website – but hardcore fans who read this can order it now before it’s listed!

NOVEMBER 2010 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & other contributors. Newsletter and website powered by
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