Archive for the ‘Punk’ Category

Lydia Lunch, Berkeley 2007

April 17, 2008

Lydia Lunch, Berkeley 2007

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

Lydia Lunch fondling the Dangerous Book for Boys at Moe’s Books in Berkeley, 2007.

http://www.lydia-lunch.org/

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Amelia and Forrest

April 17, 2008

Amelia and Forrest

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

Amelia G and Forrest Black of Blue Blood, whom I’ve been working with for like 14 years now. They came up for the AdTech conference at Moscone Center, and came by to tour the Armory and shoot some documentary video of me explaining the history of the Armory and what we do there.

They are responsible for www.gothicsluts.com, www.barelyevil.com, www.rubberdollies.com, and more, none of which are safe for work, all consolidated under the http://www.blueblood.com site, which is also not safe for work. I still think of them as the people from Maryland publishing punk rock scifi goth horror erotica. They’re not from Maryland any more.

Find more of Amelia and Forrest at www.blueblood.net, www.blueblood.com, and www.spookyblog.com.

Lydia Lunch

October 30, 2007

Singer, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist and spoken word performer Lydia Lunch’s brand of oral fixation is not designed to get a reaction from her audiences… but tends to. “You know, I’m always accused of going for shock value,” says Lunch. “What could be more shocking than the real world?”

Lydia Lunch got her musical start in bicentennial New York as one of the early performers in what may or may not have been punk rock. There, she shrieked her way through a super-8 slasher movie of a slide-guitar nightmare called “Orphans” with her first band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, leaving a bellywound in ’70s punk that produces fresh scar tissue to this day. A subsequent band, “Eight Eyed Spy,” was a moonshine swamprock proto-gothabilly project described by at least one critic as “shooting hot loads of steaming musical spunk into the audience.”

Lunch went on to collaborate with a list of musicians that reads like the guest list for Alfred Jarry’s dinner party in Hell: J.G. Thirlwell, Sonic Youth, Rowland S. Howard, Michael Gira, Einstürzende Neubauten, Nick Cave, Steven Severin, the Birthday Party and Robert Quine, just for starters. An improbable marriage of avant-garde and hard rock led to the irresistible Shotgun Wedding with Howard; A ’90s project with Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and drummer Sadie Mae, with whom Lunch toured Europe, set to music the most fucked-up psychosexual hypermacho themes from the Southern Gothic-Redneck Noir novels of literary author Harry Crews, and produced quite possibly the most disturbing rock and roll song ever recorded (“The Gospel Singer”).

Other vocal works of Lunch’s have been slightly less punchfuck and lots more skullfuck, for my money her best work being a subtle blend of death-jazz, avant-rock and hardboiled noir in which Lunch comes across as a well-armed sex kitten with Eros drooling in her cleavage and Thanatos racking the slide on her Automag.

She’s also appeared in a number of underground films, including early Richard Kern works in the “cinema of transgression” movement, perhaps most notably including “Fingered” — where she participated quite famously in, as Wikipedia politely puts it, “unsimulated sex acts.”

As her spoken word performances developed and broadened through the ’80s and ’90s, it would be an understatement to say Lunch often invited controversy — a 1990 appearance on the cover of the granddaddy of lesbian sex mags, On Our Backs, provoked some pretty energetic letters to the editor, and during a film festival in Berlin a group of self-declared feminists broke in to the projector room and attempted to burn the print of “Fingered.” (They ended up torching the wrong film.)

But the controversy was just getting started — with the publication of 1997’s Paradoxia: A Predator’s Diary, in which Lunch explored the themes of sexual predation in a memoir that might be considered unsavory and in fact proved a bit much for North American publishers — though it appeared in the UK ten years ago, it’s only now being published in the US. As the country took a turn to the right, Lunch, who had moved every few years for most of her life, became increasingly dissatisfied with life in the US; in 2005, she left North America for Spain. She’s returning in November for a tour of the States under the Hangover Hotel banner.

We talked with Lydia by phone as she got ready to hit the road for the Land of the Free.

Read More at Eros Zine.

The Font of Teriyaki… You Tell Me, How Does it Make You Feel?

October 22, 2007

littleplasticcastle.jpgI am listening to the song “Fuel” from Ani DiFranco’s 1998 album Little Plastic Castle. There is a lyric in it I have always liked:

People used to make records as in a record of an event
The event of people playing music in a room
Now everything is cross-marketing
It’s about sunglasses and shoes
Or guns and drugs, you choose
We got it rehashed, we got it halfassed
We’re digging up all the graves and spitting on the past
And we can choose between the colors of the lipstick on the whores
Because we know the difference between the font of 20% More
And the font of…. Teriyaki! You tell me, how does it make you feel?

The first 6 lines of of that excerpt strike me as the usual Ani-style mourning for the old days of music, when John Lennon Gave Peace a Chance and Nixon tried to deport him, the days when Guthrie put THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS on his guitar because he actually believed that it did, or could….  or, maybe closer to my own retro dreams, the days when Gerard Malanga got his ass beat during “Venus in Furs” because he was wasted, pumped, and audacious and when Iggy jumped offstage and smeared peanut butter on himself because… well, who knows why Iggy did what he did in those days, and does it matter? It was art, man, it was music, it was happening, and it was as unpredictable.

Takin’ some liberties here, I read it as a pretty standard-issue kvetch for alternate-tuning folkpunx like Ms. DiFranco. In which case I’m right there with my fellow disgruntled thirty-something in the “WTF do these kids think they’re doing?!?!?!?” school of old-fogeydom.

But those last 2 lines show a rare insight into something I think most people don’t get…. I laughed till I cried the first time I heard “Fuel” because during my many years in advertising and marketing I swear I have had that very conversation and thought to myself… “The font of Teriyaki? Did she just ask me how it makes me feel? For Christ’s sake, it’s an ad for an antihistamine.” My internal “bar-oo?” was a constant companion in those days. (Not now, though.)

Ani’s lyric evokes a kind of pidgin that advertising and marketing people speak when discussing things with clients and/or superiors, and it bears a resemblance to the English language in much the same way that Newspeak does, and is ultimately no less dangerous… if vastly more comical.

While Orwell’s Newspeak is described as the only language with a vocabulary that gets smaller each year… the marketing lexicon just keeps getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and makes ever less sense. Especially to the people who speak it.

Image top via righteousbabe.com. Image below from the US Library of Congress via Wikipedia.

Post-script: Woody Guthrie is God. Ani is still a badass.

woodyguthrie.jpg

The Font of Teriyaki… You Tell Me, How Does it Make You Feel?

October 22, 2007

littleplasticcastle.jpgI am listening to the song “Fuel” from Ani DiFranco’s 1998 album Little Plastic Castle. There is a lyric in it I have always liked:

People used to make records as in a record of an event
The event of people playing music in a room
Now everything is cross-marketing
It’s about sunglasses and shoes
Or guns and drugs, you choose
We got it rehashed, we got it halfassed
We’re digging up all the graves and spitting on the past
And we can choose between the colors of the lipstick on the whores
Because we know the difference between the font of 20% More
And the font of…. Teriyaki! You tell me, how does it make you feel?

The first 6 lines of of that excerpt strike me as the usual Ani-style mourning for the old days of music, when John Lennon Gave Peace a Chance and Nixon tried to deport him, the days when Guthrie put THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS on his guitar because he actually believed that it did, or could….  or, maybe closer to my own retro dreams, the days when Gerard Malanga got his ass beat during “Venus in Furs” because he was wasted, pumped, and audacious and when Iggy jumped offstage and smeared peanut butter on himself because… well, who knows why Iggy did what he did in those days, and does it matter? It was art, man, it was music, it was happening, and it was as unpredictable.

Takin’ some liberties here, I read it as a pretty standard-issue kvetch for alternate-tuning folkpunx like Ms. DiFranco. In which case I’m right there with my fellow disgruntled thirty-something in the “WTF do these kids think they’re doing?!?!?!?” school of old-fogeydom.

But those last 2 lines show a rare insight into something I think most people don’t get…. I laughed till I cried the first time I heard “Fuel” because during my many years in advertising and marketing I swear I have had that very conversation and thought to myself… “The font of Teriyaki? Did she just ask me how it makes me feel? For Christ’s sake, it’s an ad for an antihistamine.” My internal “bar-oo?” was a constant companion in those days. (Not now, though.)

Ani’s lyric evokes a kind of pidgin that advertising and marketing people speak when discussing things with clients and/or superiors, and it bears a resemblance to the English language in much the same way that Newspeak does, and is ultimately no less dangerous… if vastly more comical.

While Orwell’s Newspeak is described as the only language with a vocabulary that gets smaller each year… the marketing lexicon just keeps getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and makes ever less sense. Especially to the people who speak it.

Image top via righteousbabe.com. Image below from the US Library of Congress via Wikipedia.

Post-script: Woody Guthrie is God. Ani is still a badass.

woodyguthrie.jpg

Forrest Black (Interview and Pictorial)

October 19, 2007

forrest.jpgForrest Black is best known as the Creative Director of Blue Blood, a network of sites that showcases gorgeous chicks in explicit gothic, punk, well-armed and counterculture erotica. More recently, Blue Blood has launched BlueBlood.net, a source for community where freaks of many stripes can post on everything from politics to music to sex to travel.

Born into a hippie household in Northern California, he’s lived since in the DC area and Atlanta, and now lives and works in Hollyweird, where he hits the cool parties and meets some of the world’s freakiest and hottest chicks to pose for him and Amelia G. We caught up with Forrest at the recent West Hollywood Book Fair for a chat about the Hells Angels and well-armed women.

Read more at Eros Zine.

F*ck Me in the Bathroom (DVD Review)

August 7, 2007

In my opinion, director Joanna Angel is at her best when she’s going gonzo all over the sleazy, skanky, dirty, dangerous, deliciously unglamorous life led by her and her slutty punk rock friends. Theming this very hot movie around — you guessed it — sex in bathrooms, Joanna explains in her intro that she wanted to make this flick because she’s had a lot of sex in bathrooms. Whether at night clubs, house parties, bus stations, the Playboy Mansion, or wherever, the bathroom provides the perfect location for a quicky, and Joanna’s had some of her hottest sex there.

Read the full review on Eros Zine.

Lithium Picnic

July 20, 2007

lithiumpicnic2.jpg

 

Those of you who follow the world of fine-art fetish photography probably know the work of Philip Warner, aka Lithium Picnic. He is being sued by Suicide Girls.

Model Apnea writes on the Lithium Picnic Livejournal:

SuicideGirls has issued a public statement about Philip and his case in what looks like the start of their campaign of damage control against the bad press they’ve brought on themselves.

“In the 6 years since starting SuicideGirls we have worked with hundreds of writers, photographers and designers on a freelance basis and have never had a contract dispute with any of them, except for Philip Warner (aka Lithium Picnic.) We have a clearly defined work for hire agreement that spells out both our and our independent contractor’s obligations. This is designed to protect the 6 years of work we have put in to creating relationships, proprietary workflow systems and the privacy of our models, which is paramount to us. We believe Mr. Warner violated that agreement. We understand that Mr. Warner believes that he did not violate our contract. We have made attempts to settle this dispute out of court which Mr. Warner has refused.”

Remember my half-assed opinion on Web 2.o? Oh, did I mention that the Wikipedia Entry on Suicide Girls sayeth:

In 2005, a number of the paid models were reported to have resigned from the site or had their memberships revoked in connection with allegations of censorship and mistreatment of the models by the site’s owners.[18] Numerous members have reported that their journals and message board posts were removed because they criticized management. This practice of deleting either objectionable content, disagreeable content, or membership altogether is referred to by Suicide Girls staffers as “zotting”. 

…and then later:

Many of the former models involved in the 2005 dispute are now involved with the competing sites GodsGirls and Deviant Nation. Both sites have been sued by SuicideGirls LLC for hiring models who were allegedly still under contract with SuicideGirls and for allegedly violating SuicideGirls trademarks. Several former models were also threatened with legal action.(citation1, Willamette Week, and citation 2, Jane) In November 2006, SuicideGirls fired one of their main photographers, Philip Warner, (aka Lithium Picnic), for acting as the primary photographer for the website of former SuicideGirl Apnea. The termination was followed in February 2007 by a lawsuit by SuicideGirls against Warner. (citation3, Fleshbot, and citation 4, AVN Online.) According to a press release by Warner and Apnea, as of February 2007, none of SuicideGirls LLC’s lawsuits or threatened actions against former models or competing sites has resulted in a victory for the plaintiff, however, the legal expenses in the lawsuits have been costly and time consuming for the defendants.

I have retained a few of Wikipedia’s reference notes so you can chase it down for yourself if you’re curious, which I’m sure you plan to do since, as any college professor or CEO of Encyclopedia Brittanica will tell you, Wikipedia isn’t a credible source. After all, Web 2.0 is not about accurate information — that resides in books, preferably expensive ones — but about empowering the creator (or creatrix) and freeing information so there’s little chance that SG could be suing anyone, because that wouldn’t be very punk rock of them (nor would it be very “alt,” though actually it would be very “alt,” but I’ll get to that). Granted, we live in a corrupt Plutocracy in which the person with the most money wins any legal struggle, but SG is independently and privately owned by some people who just wanted to look at punk rock girls’ tits. Isn’t it?

Model Apnea writes on the front page at Lithium Picnic, in part:

Hi everyone,

This is Apnea with some not-so-happy news.

 As a result of the ongoing pressure and financial losses incurred from defending against Sean Suhl of SuicideGirl’s $100,000 lawsuit against Philip for shooting me for my site apneatic and the emotional stress and damage this has done to his business, Philip is taking the Lithium Picnic site offline until further notice.

I’ve taken it over for now so he can focus his time and resources on his case and raising funds. Please contact him at lithiumpicnic at gmail dot com if you have a paid project that you would like to discuss with him.

SG is now making the preposterous claims that they taught him photography and web design and they are going after the profits of my site.

Clearly, not everyone loves the Suicide Girls, and the Girls themselves don’t always love Suicide Girls. Hey, this doesn’t make them any less alt… in fact, it’s alt-er than alt, aka punker than fuck, to sue the shit out of anyone you can get cash from. As a matter of fact, I remember a huge number of my friends trying to figure out how to work the system so they could get SSI — that was “Social Security for the Insane,” as it was described to me, the pot of gold at the end of the my-life-sucks rainbow for a punk rocker, the ease-up that made it all worthwhile. That’s all SG is doing, trying to get their due so they can relax for a while, kick around the house wake-n-baking and catch up on The Dick Van Dyke show. It’s like the old Chris Rock joke: “What do you mean he doesn’t work? He got hit by four cars this year!”

Also back in the old days, I remember more than a few fistfights in front of Gilman, and about a hundred times that number of screaming matches. Isn’t it all just one big mosh pit where we get our aggressions out and it’s all the price of living a creative life?

Sure is! And what a small price to pay it is to living on the edge, exploring the fringes of this sewer-slog we call the life of an artist — a bloodied nose, some bruises, what the hey? A few scars give you character, and might even get you laid.

Provided, of course, the Nazi skins didn’t happen along and hold you down while they beat you for violating their red-braces, bluejeans, big-boots intellectual property, and their shaved-head trademark, and being a SHARP skin or a faggot instead of one of their approved type of skins who believed the Holocaust was a great idea and Reagan was God.

All I’m sayin’.

Related Links:

www.lithiumpicnic.com

Lithium Picnic Fundraiser Prints For Sale

Apnea’s Auctions, PayPal Donations

Lithium Picnic Shirts

Eros Zine Profile of Lithium Picnic

Eros Zine Profile of Apnea

lithiumpicnic2.jpg

 

Joe Gallant (Interview)

June 27, 2007

(EXPLICIT CONTENT)

Joe Gallant… what the heck can you say about this guy? He’s got old-school NYC street cred cred that is so far beyond unassailable that to sneer “poser” at him would cause a spontaneous vortex in the space-time continuum, through which 1978-era Richard Hell and Stiv Bators would be sucked just so they could make fun of you. Here, Abby Ehmann chats with the director of Avenue X, Killing Courtney Luv, and many other hillarious, harrowing, fun, freaky porn flicks that’ll bend your mind like a warm piece of licorice.

See more at Eros Zine (EXPLICIT CONTENT)

Thomas Roche interviews Amelia G of Blue Blood

October 17, 2006