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V. Vale’s RE/Search Newsletter #128, July 2014: “Are We Not Men? We Are DEVO!”

Welcome To V. Vale’s RE/Search Newsletter #128, July 2014

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RE/SEARCH PODCAST: RE/Search Conversations, a free podcast. Subscribe to the RSS feed here ( .Recent episodes include Rudy Rucker ( and Penny Rimbaud ( .

2. NEW FROM RE/SEARCH: Ed Hardy PocketBook of interviews
3. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR: Amazon in Europe vs. Amazon in U.S.A.
4. The Counter Culture Hour: Sat July 12, 6pm
5. Forthcoming events
6. Our past life
7. Recommended links
7A. Stephane von Stephane column
9. Letters from readers
10. Sponsors (Check ‘em out! – they make this possible!)
1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR: V. Vale’s “review” of the 2014 Hardcore DEVO Tour

“Are We Not Men?”
“We Are DEVO!”

On a warm San Francisco Saturday night, June 28, 2014, we made our way across the new white Bay Bridge to the beautiful art deco Fox Theatre in Oakland, California, located at Telegraph Ave downtown near 18th St. At 7pm there was a line in front of the theater (show was scheduled for 8pm). We found free parking 3 blocks away on a deserted street where the buildings displayed Edward Hopper shadows; Oakland feels far less populated than San Francisco. Not wanting to stand in line, we lingered in the car (not a soul on the street, and not many cars driving by) until finally four teenage girls showed up on the sidewalk and tried to ask us some question which we never understood. That was our cue to leave; it was 7:25pm. We walked three sparsely-populated blocks to the Fox Theatre, went to the ticket booth on the right-hand side, and ran into our neighbor Caleb with his friend, and a woman (what was her name?!) who had come over to get a donation of our ZINES books to give away to various East Bay libraries. At 7:30pm the doors were open and we went in and secured a place to watch the show, behind the sound-mixing board on the mid-mezzanine.

The Fox Theatre is spectacular, with an amazing ceiling and two huge bronze Indian-Buddhist (?) sitting statues on either side of the stage, plus a balcony level above with theater seating. Low-volume music was playing which gradually morphed into DEVO karaoke tracks (i.e., instrumental music minus any vocals). Long ago there was a series of vinyl records titled “Music Minus One” which enabled aspiring singers to sing along with backing orchestras or accompanists; we collected a few for our “Incredibly Strange Music” book/CD/cassette project twenty years ago. We hadn’t known that DEVO songs were available in this low-key format. Then the drums were being tested on an elevated platform to our left, microphone stands were set up, and finally DEVO walked onstage dressed in black clothing and sat down on stools, spaced apart. From left to right were the drummer (Josh Freese) on his platform, then bassist-singer Jerry Casale, guitarist-singer Bob Mothersbaugh, and
synthesist/vocalist Mark Mothersbaugh in front of two vintage analog synthesizers side by side, like an extra-long keyboard. (Did he have a custom keyboard stand made for this tour?) The stage set was a row of five windows about seven feet above the floor, intended to simulate the Akron, Ohio basement where from 1974-1977 DEVO developed their sound and philosophy (or is it the reverse?).

We were treated to a condensed theatrical simulation of how DEVO evolved from 1974-1977. Throughout the concert, Jerry Casale narrated the passage of years and the band’s gradual invention of itself. Bassist Jerry Casale sang the earliest numbers which were basically blues songs, while Bob Mothersbaugh played great blues guitar. Blues vocals and guitar solos demand continuous improvisation, and we were not disappointed—didn’t know Jerry Casale could sing the blues like that, with such a wide range of high to low notes, and such a variety of phrasing. Bob Mothersbaugh kept on channeling the great American 20th-century blues masters; it was tempting to call what we were seeing the “Devo Blues Band.”

This was not pop music fluff; it was dark, satisfying, invented-on-the-spot, rhythmically driving music (but slower tempos) tapping deep reservoirs of “soulful feeling.” We had never heard so many improv vocals by J. Casale or guitar soloing by B. Mothersbaugh, and it seemed that for the first time they were given enough room to stretch out and more fully express themselves in a more primal, animal way. Harbingers of the DEVO critique of American sexual repressiveness (and authoritarian control sickness) were occasionally heard in the lyrics. Yet… the endings were razor-sharp and usually surprising; unexpected. Which meant that drummer Josh Freese (who replaced Alan Myer, R.I.P., on the tour) was 100% in synch with the three DEVO originals.

Gradually, the dual synthesizers of Mark Mothersbaugh began asserting themselves, along with some increasingly quirky vocalistic stylings, and what we could see far in the distance as signature DEVO sonic soundscapes began emerging from miles away. Mark M. seemed to be enjoying the open, less-tightly-arranged freedom of the blues song structures, improvising on his keyboards much more than in past concerts—and obviously smiling while he explored this enhanced freedom. In fact, everybody seemed to be having fun; they had more latitude in expressing themselves as improvisatory musicians fulfilling their potential as inventive “channelers” of sudden melodic inspirations direct from the aether—so much more rewarding than merely playing memorized rote musical arrangements. We were reminded that the open, minimalist structuring of the blues genre elicits the duende of possession so prized by, say, flamenco singers in past centuries seeking transcendence of prior technical

Rawer, more fundamental versions of early DEVO classics practically commanded the audience to sing along and thus become one with the band: “Are we not men?” “We are DEVO!” ” Be Stiff!” and “Uncontrollable Urge!” continued the band’s lifetime quest to Liberate the Libido. DEVO’s re-writing of “Satisfaction!” is so different from the original that it’s hard to see how it could have been invented in the first place, yet DEVO (with J.Casale’s narration) showed how it came to be, what with original drummer Alan Myers coming in on possibly the “wrong” beat… that turned out to be so “right.”

Visually, we saw how DEVO adopted and evolved. They bought janitorial uniforms from an industrial catalog, strange masks, protective helmets. They developed their unique “mechanical man” choreographic moves and calisthenics, culminating in an instantly-recognizable group stage entity that is still au courant. DEVO had diverse artistic cultural backgrounds embracing the early Mail Art movement, Pop Art, Surrealism, collage, graphic and industrial design, and architecture—plus the history of cinema and music, of course.

It seemed amazing to be able to hear a huge amount of brand-new music from a band we thought we “knew.” We couldn’t help but recall those earliest 1977 San Francisco concerts at the Mabuhay Gardens (DEVO’s first tour), and how noisy the synth solos had been—Mark M. even had a strange wearable guitar-synth combo that emitted seemingly pure noise. But, groups often start out more experimental, and take more chances and risks… until commercial success steps in to pull in the reins, and restrain the band’s wild and freewheeling originality. Still, it’s not easy to produce classic songs that happen to be commercial hits, like “Whip It” and “Gates of Steel.” And, produce a very compelling, constantly changing, evolving visual backdrop for live shows, not to mention the witty, provocative DEVO videos that long ago anticipated the coming of MTV. [Some other DEVO enduring anthems include: Smart Patrol / Mr. DNA, Gut Feeling, Peek-A-Boo! Through Being Cool, Beautiful World, Swelling
Itching Brain, Jocko Homo, Mongoloid, The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprise, Girl U Want, Jerkin’ Back ‘n’ Forth, Wiggly World, Working in the Coal Mine, Freedom of Choice. Now, we think the songwriting partnership of Casale/Mothersbaugh is the American equivalent of Lennon-McCartney, chronicled so brilliantly in Barry Miles’s biography of Paul McCartney.]

The Hardcore DEVO Tour was a benefit for DEVO original Bob Casale (Bob 2; guitarist-keyboardist) who suddenly died of heart failure on Feb 17, 2014, leaving his family genuinely in need. A high point at the end of the concert was when Bob’s son, Alex2, came onstage to play bass on “Clockout”; he performed like a seasoned veteran. Poignant. Also, gratifyingly enough, the best parts of the tour will be released on a full-concert-length DVD, so we can relive the thrill of hearing a lot of DEVO songs for the first time in full raw power and noisy blues power. The early DEVO we missed hearing so long ago.

It’s a bit mind-boggling to reflect that DEVO started forty years ago and still have it: drive, wit, juice, cojones. If anything, their pioneering philosophy of DEVOLUTION has become globally apparent; in fact, every human enterprise on the planet seems to start idealistic and ambitious and devolve under the increasing weight of the capitalist imperative. Still, forty years later DEVO appeared as adventurous, noisy and cliche-assaulting as when they first started. This felt like a real collective band, with everyone pulling their own weight and allowed maximal freedom-of-expression… as when DEVO first started.

After the show we joined a small group of people and were led downstairs through a literal labyrinth of corridors that felt like a full subterranean city block til we entered a large-ish room for the “VIP Meet and Greet.” We grabbed available chairs at a round table and waited while DEVO signed autographs and posed for photos with DEVOtees for over an hour. We saw a large variety of vinyl LPs, T-shirts, posters, energy domes (hats) and other memorabilia get inscribed; a 1-year-old boy (carried by his mom) sported a custom red DEVO knitted cap that we envied.

At the end were told that DEVO had been working since early afternoon: they played a full set just for the film crew, plus giving videotaped interviews and posing for insert shots, then without time for dinner break they played the evening set, then worked signing souvenirs for over an hour. Finally they could retreat to the dressing rooms for pizza, grapes, apples and… It was too late to eat dinner, so they went to the hotel to sleep and next morning hop a plane to Los Angeles to do two shows in Southern California, then a day off, then a final show on July 2, 2014 in Austin, Texas.

DEVO are fortunate to have Michael Pilmer running their website and helping the DEVO tour and other events happen. Other crew members seemed competent and “nice,” too. Go to to see photos, find texts (and DEVO “merch,” of course)… and if you can, donate to Bob Casale’s family: And, if you are a wine-lover, you have a special treat: Gerald V. Casale has started his own ultra-oenophile wine label based in Napa: Go to the website and see yet another dimensionality to the art-philosophy-music entity known as DEVO…

2. NEW FROM RE/SEARCH: Ed Hardy PocketBook of interviews

NOTE: 1. Our latest book is ED HARDY, available from ( – please buy this compendium of ideas, insights and wisdom spoken by (possibly) the world’s greatest tattoo artist. 2. We are also offering a ValuPak of (3) books by the techno-futuristic Austrian collective monochrom – write us at & in the subject line write “monochrom ValuPak” and we will send you your own secret coded discount offer, just for YOU!


Amazon: such a benign global corporation, right? They’re only trying to benefit every “consumer” on the planet; they only have the “consumer’s” interest at heart, right? Their “mission statement” is to bring YOU any product made on the planet at the lowest possible price. They try to offer free, fast shipping—in fact, if you pay a fee and become an Amazon “prime” “member” (member of WHAT, you might ask), anything you order will be delivered in 2 or 1 days, often with “free” shipping.

Now, how is it possible to get a big discount AND free shipping?!? Well, that “discount” comes out of the pockets of the makers of whatever-it-is you order. And, how is it possible to get “free” shipping? Obviously, this is a loss-leader; not only is there the shipping, but there’s the cost of the container, packing materials, the labor of packing, etc. But, Amazon’s “real” goal is to put everyone else on the planet out-of-business except THEM. (Remember when: a customer in a “real” bookstore took a cellphone photo of the barcode on the back-cover of a book and emailed it to Amazon, customer could order said book at a huge discount/free shipping?!? [reportedly]) So… at some distant point in the future (not that far off, in our opinion), Amazon will be the last corporate behemoth standing—and then they can raise prices and charge for shipping, ‘cuz there’ll be no more competition. It will soon be: Order from Amazon if you want something—or you don’t get it.

These days, if you’re a book publisher who is not “on” Amazon, you don’t exist! So, global monopoly capitalism functions as a censor, practicing a de facto form of censorship independent of any political government. Is “corporate government” “better” than political government? We all know that corporations, with their billions of dollars budgeted for the sole purpose of “influencing” politicians and legislators, de facto “own” governments these days, especially in America with its 50+ states and so many “bribable” (if that’s not a word, it should be!) politicians. Does anybody remember when Amazon published George Orwell’s “1984” on their Kindle, and then, realizing they didn’t hold the proper publishing rights, pressed a button and suddenly every copy in the world on everybody’s Kindle just instantly “disappeared.” (Like, read between the lines on this?!?)

Did you know that Amazon in Europe has incorporated in Luxembourg, in order to pay the least possible tax? And, that the EU is investigating this as possible white-collar “criminality”? Like, Amazon doesn’t want to support education and the road systems-infrastructure which they (more than most) exploit for their own profit? As EU competition commission member Joaquin Almunia put it, “In the current context of tight public budgets, it is particularly important that large multinationals pay their fair share of taxes.” ( )

By a miracle, in Germany and France the governments are helping to fight back against the giant online seller — at least for book-selling. France just passed a law saying it’s illegal for Amazon to offer “free” shipping and give a discount larger than 5% on books. Why? France realizes that books are not mere “widgets”… but are culture itself. Radical bookselling (small publishers, distributors, mom-and-pop bookstores) took years to build up, and now it is being subjected to a (camouflaged) form of Exterminative-ECONOMIC WAR, the likes of which have never before been seen in history. Radical bookselling was never more than barely survivable (with many protagonists working for minimal wages) and now, what with the behemoth’s global monopoly exacting 30%-plus discounts from every small book-publisher in the world for a mere single copy of a book, well—do the math! Work for free or at a loss for awhile, and guess what—you’ll probably stop doing your radical publishing… and
Amazon will have functioned as the Bringer of Cultural Armageddon, the bringer of Cultural Apocalypse. Amazon will have triumphed. And YOU, the Amazon-supporter, will have helped bring this about. Are we still in America, and do we have “freedom of choice” (as DEVO put it)? Well, here in the “Land of the Free” it’s up to US.

Why is it great to save money while putting humans out of a living wage? ALSO, think censorship. Do we want one giant global company to control what is available, and how long it takes to buy it? Everytime you purchase through this monstrous corporation, you are damaging your local shops or other smaller online businesses that provide services and goods. Is that worth saving a few dollars? Next thing you know, there will be drones out there buzzing around so your neighbors can get their pet toys and hard drives more quickly. (Drones are not silent.) Amazon is ruining society, no joke. You should feel guilty every time you order through them. It’s up to us — at least those of us who still have any money left to spend — to vote with our dollars.

As James Patterson told the WSJ in answer to Amazon’s claim that their new requirement for a larger cut of the price is for the sake of their customers: “…most of us [authors] don’t understand how that is really in the interest of Amazon’s customers. I don’t get that.” For readers with their heads in the sand, we’re entering the third month of Amazon [allegedly] refusing to take pre-orders and slowing delivery of books published by Hachette (is this LEGAL?) because they’re suing Hachette trying to get a bigger piece of the Hachette pie.

However, those discounts in the venerable book business (actually, both the middle class, and books which are affordable to the middle class, are both less than 200 years old), are necessary for SURVIVAL. Those of us not part of the 1% (remember Occupy?!) take our cultural freedom for granted, but really, it’s fragile. The independent book business (really, the democratic-knowledge/culture/wisdom/art-and-science movement) has always struggled. The 1% really wants to return to the good old days where the masses were ignorant, confused and fragmented—incapable of unifying behind a common cause, like, say, a labor union. Does Amazon like labor unions? Hell no… And, did you know that Amazon has almost singlehandedly made paper books perceived as “worthless”… so they can promote their Kindle reader, wherein you can never really “own” or even easily “loan out” a book that you paid your own money for?

Amazon has implemented the most convenient way to buy anything on the planet at the biggest discount and (usually) with free shipping, sometimes (if you’re an Amazon “prime” member) offering 2-day or 1-day delivery. But is it worth it to be a convenience-addict and order everything your little ole’ heart desires from Amazon? As Jello Biafra put it, “Give me convenience, or give me death!” Amazon’s new smart-phone makes it breathtakingly easy to order ANYTHING YOU WANT practically instantly. Why, if you buy the Amazon-Phone now, you get a free year “membership” in Amazon’s “Prime” program and everything you one-click order will arrive within two days or less…

You probably never gave Amazon any thought. A lot of artists we know instantly order everything from Amazon, the elephant-in-the-room, the elephant-of-doom. These artists wouldn’t vote for, say, Ronald Reagan or George Bush or Putin or Idi Amin or Joseph Koney, but Amazon is waging ECONOMIC WAR on every small business in the world, and has palpably damaged the fragile world of quirky, eccentric booksellers and independent publishers (like ourselves). Amazon: DISCOUNT = DEATH.

Well, folks, by shopping at Amazon, you personally are bringing about CULTURAL DEATH. Think about it! Books are not “widgets” or “commodities,” books are Culture itself. And Culture is life itself. And Rebel Culture, such as we try to produce, is gettin’ increasingly difficult to keep producing. If you like this newsletter, please order a book or T-shirt or something direct from US, not Amazon! And if you don’t like this essay, you’re in America; you can exercise your “freedom of choice” and “unsubscribe.” Because, as a man named Marx said 175+ years ago, “Economics Determines Life.” Sad, but still true…

See these links on how France and Germany are attempting to keep freedom and a living wage for authors, small publishers and bookshops.

4. Counter Culture Hour – Sat Jul 12, 2014

Peter Sempel, experimental filmmaker from Hamburg Germany
Watch for it this month as Channel 29 re-airs our shows frequently.

The Counter Culture Hour (aka RE/SEARCH TV) is also simulcast ON-LINE as well as on cable access San Francisco Channel 29 – 6pm Pacific Time, Sat July 12, 2014. See this link at broadcast time:

You need a fairly decent internet connection and computer to “get it.”
USA west coast: 6:00 PM Saturday, July 12, 2014
USA east coast: 9:00 PM Saturday, July 12, 2014
Tokyo: 10:00 AM Sunday, July 13, 2014
If you cannot get this online email us at

See RE/Search channel on youtube: “researchpubs”
V. Vale interviewing Rudy Rucker is now on Vimeo:

5. FORTHCOMING EVENTS (San Francisco unless otherwise noted)

() FREE Emerald Tablet presents… AND for Emerald Tablet’s schedule of events:

() $ Now til July 26. – our favorite local Grand Guignol Theatre Company at the Hypnodrome — now showing: “Pearls over Shanghai” — a hillarious musical, Thursdays through Sundays each week. We saw the new production and it grants renewed amazement, what with the huge cast, elaborate bigger-than-Carmen-Miranda’s headgear, super-detailed costumery, incredibly elaborate make-up, new material, and classic songs that embed themselves deep into your backbrain. We particularly liked the old silent B&W documentary film footage of pre-World War II Shanghai — this is where J.G. Ballard spent his childhood, and it looks like a wild Western urban city, but with Chinese everywhere in the streets. There is so much going on this 2-part production that it makes your head spin… but you almost wanna go LIVE in this stage set. Ben Wa’s preview video

() SAT JUNE 28, 4pm sharp (ends 8pm) – EARLY AFTERNOON SHOW!!
Knockout / 3223 Mission St./Valencia & 29th Sts, SF
LOS MICROWAVES (old school proto-punk new wave band since 1978) – headliner
AGENDER (from Australia)
THE OFFS (old school punk/ska band since 1978)
Doors open at 3:00pm / Show at 4:00pm / Over at 8:00pm – Early Afternoon Show!
$8.00 Admission / 21+
Note: Los Microwaves have all the original members except for Todd, the drummer, who passed away 4 years ago. Meg Brazill (vocals), David Javelosa (keys), Caroline (percussion), Charles (Baby Buddha) drums, and Matty (SoccerMom) filling in for Meg’s bass. Los Microwaves are playing 40 minutes worth of the original LP plus two tunes not yet recorded. Their original album has been re-released on vinyl by Dark Entries records based in SF. The record will be for sale at the show.

() here’s 10-city DEVO TOUR ITINERARY FOR 2014: ( ( ) last show July 2 – Austin, TX – ACL/Moody Theatre

() $ Thur July 3, 6-10pm Exploratorium, Pier 15. “Howdy Friends, Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society co-author and book designer Carrie Galbraith and John Law will be speaking at the Exploratorium on how Cacophony and its progeny Burning Man, SantaCon, Billboard Liberation Front, Fight Club and the like, fit into, and grew out of the unique petri dish that once was the San Francisco/Bay Area weirdo underground. We’ll also touch on parallel and complimentary local scenes such as the machine art underground of the 80’s/90’s, Art Cars and the like.

() $ July 7-8, Warfield, SF: NICK CAVE & The Bad Seeds… ‘Nuff said!

() FREE Fri July 11, 5-11pm iHeartNorthBeach, 641 Green Street/Columbus, SF. Ruby Ray/Winston Smith book signing for new book on Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, The Early Years, by Alex Ogg

() $55 Fri July 11, 8pm, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, SF: New Order…

6. What We’ve Attended or WANTED to Attend / What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to / What We’ve Been Sent / Given, or Seen

() 7/2/2014 Wed night at the last minute saw EMA, the most recent band featuring guitarist/vocalist Erika M. Anderson (thanks to our friend Moritz in Germany, who interviewed her for us). We’re automatically prejudiced in favor of any band featuring a violin or viola or cello (think: Velvet Underground) and there was a young man, Leif Shackelford, in EMA who played violin, guitar, keyboard, bass? Other personnel were: Becky on guitars, synths, vocals. Billy (from South Dakota?) on powerhouse drums. Stage props were: large plant in a pot, plus 4 LED vertical screens featuring dancing 60s go-go girls, palm trees, primary colors, other graphics. Started set with songs from her new 2nd album, “The Future’s Void”: violin instrumental seguing into “Satellites,” “Solace,” “So Blonde.” Also played “Grey Ship,” “California,” “Butterfly Knife,” and “Marked” from first EMA album, “Past Life Martyred Saints.” Last number sounded like a gospel classic, “Dead Celebrity.” Encore was a long
number, “White Like Heaven.” [Other songs included Neuro, Cthulu, Angelo, 3Jane.) The set went by fast—a sure sign that we liked it (although, we had a hard time deciphering the lyrics, sadly). We felt that bands should sell $1 lyric sheets to audience members who want them… and make everybody sing along! (just kidding) Still, call us Old-School Punk, but we appreciate Intelligence in Lyrics (as well as Poetry, too). Oh well, next time we see EMA, we’ll have printed out all the lyrics we can find online. So Yes, we became fans, and recommend YOU check out EMA too… especially live! Support REAL talent, REAL people! BTW, ErikaM.A. was in Gowns (w/Ezra Buchla, son of Don Buchla) opening for Throbbing Gristle’s last concert in San Francisco, 4-23-09, at the Regency Ballroom. Review & Photos: EMA, Mas Ysa, Safeword at The Independent

() Re-reading Vermilion Sands by J.G. Ballard. Definitely a place to visit again and again…

() Read Carson McCullers’ The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (published 1940; written when the author was 22 years old) and it is an enduring social-critical masterpiece. Don’t know why nobody told us to read it long ago…

() Fay Ballard (J.G. Ballard’s daughter) wrote an introduction to a photography book we definitely want to lay our hands on: Jim’s Terrible City – J.G. Ballard and Shanghai. Photos by James H. Bollen. or AbeBooks (

() Been reading the BALTHUS biography by Nicholas Fox Weber – gift from E.H. Fascinating!

7. RECOMMENDED LINKS (send some!)

Visit the RE/Search Publications website ( to view our recommended links ( for July 2014.

7A. Stephane Von Stephane column: “The Forces Of Control Are Gathering Around Our Heads…”

Since I have been on hiatus, the most important thing that has happened is what NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed. Edward Snowden’s German lawyer Wolfgang Kaleck, [European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights] interviewed for Democracy Now by Amy Goodman June 29, 2014: “…many people were criticizing without real evidence. Now this evidence is out and nobody can deny that this practice of mass surveillance not only of so-called terrorists, not only of so-called dangerous people, but massive surveillance of many of us is taking place, that’s the biggest revelation…”

I was thinking the other day about two of my older RE/Search newsletter columns:
Aug 2006:
A review of the Richard Linklater film version of Philip K. Dick’s ‘A Scanner Darkly’ wherein I write about Paranoia and the possibility that we are ‘being watched’: “THEY want us to be Paranoid. Control by fear… because then we will KNOW that THEY do exist and are In Charge… already KNOW where we are at any given moment because of the G.P.S. in our cell phones…they read our e-mails and listen to our phone conversations. They watch us have sex with their infrared satellite cameras!!!!!” I was criticizing without real evidence, but now I KNOW. And a review of Joy Division film ‘Control’ Dec. 2007: wherein I predict Endless War and declare ‘Machines In Motion’ (1979) by Red Beat; my personal anthem.

“As I see it, no matter who is in office, or what congress does or doesn’t do, it doesn’t matter because the Machines are already in Motion. There will be endless war now, forever after, amen. That’s it, people. The Wheel Goes Round.” Just today more troops were sent back to Iraq… after the war was supposedly over. Here’s my new anthem, by the Birmingham UK band ‘The AuPairs’: ‘Headache for Michelle’ (1981): [excerpt]

They are coming amongst, amongst, amongst
and in between us
Tapping our phones
– you can be sure they’ve seen us

Are you working are you working are you working
for and with the state?
They’re selling you smack at a slightly
slightly, slightly cheaper rate
‘Cos you’re not a threat when you’re out of your head

They are closing down – communications
They’re taking control – of our situations

The forces of control The forces of control
The Forces Of Control Are Gathering Around Our Heads

Amazes me how many of us ‘First Wave’ Punks were so prescient. The question IS: What will we do about our situation now that we do KNOW what we thought we knew was happening, WAS ACTUALLY happening and IS STILL happening? [end]

8. Quotations

() Heard on the street: “We live in Snarky Times. Shock Rules. People Turn Anything Into a Joke; Make Anything Meaningless. People romanticize being “bad” and “crazy” (especially women). The latest “art” presents really cheesy, sentimental stuff. Internet Reality has replaced ‘Real’ Reality. It’s scary. The Internet made introverts into extroverts (the Internet was MADE for introverts). Sentimental, Schadenfreude, rules… We need a Flood of Post-Ironic Idealism; HONEST ART!”—G.K.

() “Man is a robot… with defects.”—Emile Cioran

() “Beyond the Uncanny Valley of the Dolls…”

() “Necessity is the Mother of Invention, and Poverty is the Father.”

() “Mistakes are the Mother of Innovation…”

() “TMI” vs “NEI” (Not Enough Information)…

() graffiti: “Downsize Your Dreams”

() “We seem to be in a permanent entrepreneurial-Darwinian survivalist technoculture…”

() The New “Rapture”: Waiting for the Internet to Die…

() “This Tsunami of social and technological change makes everybody uneasy.”—Lawrence and Catherine ___

() “Technology is outpacing morality and our ability to deal with it. We’re not in a position to control it; it controls us.” — George ___

() “Bad people always live longer… cuz they’re shameless.”—Jerry C.

() “With Duchamp, joking was a deadly serious matter.”—Peter Frank

9. Letters from readers

() “Great writing on history of RE/Search [June 2014 newsletter]]….hope you will continue more….don’t need millionaires to be venture creator/capitalists just people to show up at the right time with some money like water to a plant to make to it all go/grow…so many people would not have got initial publicity at all without your intelligent insight…Monte C”

() “That reminds me, I’d really like to read Rene Daumal’s Mount Analog! I remember you recommending that book to me while we were at the L.A. event… “I read your newsletter—which is always a hoot! I’ve been listening to Acid Mothers Temple ever since I read your interview! I find the spirituality side of their project very interesting. If you have any more stories or insights into their band, I’d love to hear…” —Danielle N.

() “Tonight there will be a RE/Search table – check out seminal literature that is the basis of today’s alternative scenes!”—Karen M.

() “I read the RE/Search #8/9: J.G. Ballard book years before I could find any of his (then out of print) books such as “Crash”. That book is absolutely essential. RE/Search’s overall importance is impossible to overestimate. Before Feral House, before Disinformation, they were exploring completely uncharted territory in the better part of the 1980s. SO many doors opened to guys like us because of Vale’s efforts.”—James Johnson

() “The ReSearch #8/9: JG Ballard interview book is essential for any fan of his work. I love the bit where he says that he WANTS a cruise missile based in his front yard… RE/Search should have a statue constructed for them somewhere for publishing their truly awesome version of “The Atrocity Exhibition”. Thank you, V. Vale.”—Austin Cooley

() “I read the RE/Search #8/9 edition about JGBallard a long time ago and recently revisited it, the opening interview is a tour de force that criss-crosses ideas and themes that now prop up our media-saturated version of reality from a vantage of thirty years ago. (His daughter Fay is a talented watercolor artist and currently has an exhibition of paintings of objects found when clearing the family home.)”—Chris H.

10. **SPONSORS** (Without them you would NOT be receiving this newsletter – Please go to their websites!)

If you would like to subscribe, we ask for a 6-month minimum of $66. (But, we will take sponsorships @$11/month!)

1. DIANE DI PRIMA! The Beat Legend sponsored us for 6 months – THANK YOU, DIANE! [x10/14)

2. 47 Canal Street (Gallery w/events, NYC) – go visit & say RE/Search sent you!

3. Emerald Tablet (Gallery w/events), Fresno Alley (100 feet from RE/Search! in North Beach). Lots of free or low cost local community events; check out their schedule! ( – they’re open during First Fridays North Beach Art Walk…

4. METASONIX: Since 1999, the world’s only maker of vacuum-tube music synthesizers.

5. From our friends Amy and Brian – they have a new software in the works, watch for it!

6. V. Vale’s RE/Search Newsletter is cordially sponsored by “Beyond the Beyond.” Information Wants To Be Free WE MEAN IT MAN! $0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0

7. “fine art about equal human rights worldwide”

8. Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company – Penelope Rosemont, Chicago Surrealist Group founder.

9. Kevin O’Malley+Christie Dames, the High-Heeled Anarchist: TechTalk/Studio: + Commonwealth Club, San Francisco.

10. Emily Armstrong/Pat Ivers’ pioneering 1st generation NYC 1975-80 punk videos! see ’em yourself @ NYU Fales Library Downtown Collection, debut: Oct 2013

11. The doomfiles:

12. “The FruitGuys loves Re/Search! Eat healthy at work, save family farms., born in North Beach in 1998.”

13. a San Francisco music production company creates innovative/original music for YOUR films/videos: CD’s, mp3 downloads, studio session work, soundtracks by ‘Sound Behavior Troupe’—experienced Bay Area musicians (x6-30/15)

14. New release from Koenig’s Road—Single: “Love Supermarket”—”It’s the best damn country north of Nashvile.” (x/12-31/14)

The end, for now

July 2014 RE/Search Newsletter #128 written by V. Vale & other contributors. RE/Search website powered by Laughing Squid (

One Response to V. Vale’s RE/Search Newsletter #128, July 2014: “Are We Not Men? We Are DEVO!”

  1. Gus B July 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Thank you for elucidating Amazon’s war against independent tastemakers. Colbert had a hilarious and spot on commentary regarding books on Amazon on his show; check-it-out.

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