Archive for the ‘The Arts’ Category

My Sucky Valentine: Feb. 13 in San Francsico

February 13, 2009



My Sucky Valentine 2009

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

…..and One last time, flogging the hopefully still sprightly horse that is tomorrow’s annual valentine’s reading I’ve been doing since Winston Churchill was in short pants! This is an awesome lineup, please come out and help celebrate the awfulness that is love!

MY SUCKY VALENTINE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2009
THE CENTER FOR SEX AND CULTURE, 1519 MISSION ST., SAN FRANCISCO

If love did not suck, would it become necessary to suck it?

San Francisco writer Thomas Roche likes to think so, which is why every Valentine’s Day he has San Francisco’s snarkiest underground writers terrorize the local population with tragic and hilarious stories of love and romance gone wrong, wrong, wrong!

We’re talking crazy exes, unwashed freeloaders, ultra-processy tricks and Stalkers From Hell(tm), plus back-alley drama and personal effects set alight on the front lawn — not to mention the occasional heartwarming truck-stop hookup and how you, as an audience member, can abandon all hope for love and get the filthy disgusting sleaze you know you really want, or just humiliate yourself trying in time-honored Valentine’s Day tradition.

This perrennially nasty, frequently filthy and always hilarious spoken word event features such acclaimed literary shoe-throwers as Carol Queen, Simon Sheppard, Charles Gatewood, m.i. blue, horehound stillpoint, and Daphne Gottlieb.

As if hearing sleazy sex-love horror stories of Valentine’s woe weren’t enough to tempt you to this epic annual bitchfest, intermission will feature a live auction of donated erotic merchandise guaranteed to make your Valentine’s Day both filthy and exciting no matter what loser you spend it with — even yourself! The auction and performance both benefit the Center for Sex and Culture and the St. James Infirmary. Email skidroche@gmail.com for more information about the auction or to offer goods for donation.

My Sucky Valentine!
Twisted Tales of Love Gone Wrong

Friday, February 13, 7-10pm

Location: Center for Sex and Culture, 1519 Mission Street, San Francisco

Cost: $10-$20 sliding scale at the door (no one turned away for lack of funds)

Proceeds benefit the Center for Sex and Culture and the St. James Infirmary

Featuring: m.i. blue, Charles Gatewood, Daphne Gottlieb, Carol Queen, Kirk Read, Simon Sheppard, and horehound stillpoint.

Hosted by Thomas S. Roche

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My Sucky Valentine 2009

February 4, 2009



My Sucky Valentine 2009

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

So, the press around this event is so far not impressing me. Perhaps you fine readers could help spread the word? These are the best readers in the world, people, I want French Vogue, Italian Vogue, Aby-bloody-sinnian-bloody-Vogue. Seriously.

MY SUCKY VALENTINE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2009
THE CENTER FOR SEX AND CULTURE, 1519 MISSION ST., SAN FRANCISCO

If love did not suck, would it become necessary to suck it?

San Francisco writer Thomas Roche likes to think so, which is why every Valentine’s Day he has San Francisco’s snarkiest underground writers terrorize the local population with tragic and hilarious stories of love and romance gone wrong, wrong, wrong!

We’re talking crazy exes, unwashed freeloaders, ultra-processy tricks and Stalkers From Hell(tm), plus back-alley drama and personal effects set alight on the front lawn — not to mention the occasional heartwarming truck-stop hookup and how you, as an audience member, can abandon all hope for love and get the filthy disgusting sleaze you know you really want, or just humiliate yourself trying in time-honored Valentine’s Day tradition.

This perrennially nasty, frequently filthy and always hilarious spoken word event features such acclaimed literary shoe-throwers as Carol Queen, Simon Sheppard, Charles Gatewood, m.i. blue, horehound stillpoint, and Daphne Gottlieb.

As if hearing sleazy sex-love horror stories of Valentine’s woe weren’t enough to tempt you to this epic annual bitchfest, intermission will feature a live auction of donated erotic merchandise guaranteed to make your Valentine’s Day both filthy and exciting no matter what loser you spend it with — even yourself! The auction and performance both benefit the Center for Sex and Culture and the St. James Infirmary. Email skidroche@gmail.com for more information about the auction or to offer goods for donation.

My Sucky Valentine!
Twisted Tales of Love Gone Wrong

Friday, February 13, 7-10pm

Location: Center for Sex and Culture, 1519 Mission Street, San Francisco

Cost: $10-$20 sliding scale at the door (no one turned away for lack of funds)

Proceeds benefit the Center for Sex and Culture and the St. James Infirmary

Featuring: m.i. blue, Charles Gatewood, Daphne Gottlieb, Carol Queen, Kirk Read, Simon Sheppard, and horehound stillpoint.

Hosted by Thomas S. Roche

Email skidroche@gmail.com if you have goods you would like to donate to the benefit auction.

My Sucky Valentine 2009

February 4, 2009



My Sucky Valentine 2009

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

So, the press around this event is so far not impressing me. Perhaps you fine readers could help spread the word? These are the best readers in the world, people, I want French Vogue, Italian Vogue, Aby-bloody-sinnian-bloody-Vogue. Seriously.

MY SUCKY VALENTINE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2009
THE CENTER FOR SEX AND CULTURE, 1519 MISSION ST., SAN FRANCISCO

If love did not suck, would it become necessary to suck it?

San Francisco writer Thomas Roche likes to think so, which is why every Valentine’s Day he has San Francisco’s snarkiest underground writers terrorize the local population with tragic and hilarious stories of love and romance gone wrong, wrong, wrong!

We’re talking crazy exes, unwashed freeloaders, ultra-processy tricks and Stalkers From Hell(tm), plus back-alley drama and personal effects set alight on the front lawn — not to mention the occasional heartwarming truck-stop hookup and how you, as an audience member, can abandon all hope for love and get the filthy disgusting sleaze you know you really want, or just humiliate yourself trying in time-honored Valentine’s Day tradition.

This perrennially nasty, frequently filthy and always hilarious spoken word event features such acclaimed literary shoe-throwers as Carol Queen, Simon Sheppard, Charles Gatewood, m.i. blue, horehound stillpoint, and Daphne Gottlieb.

As if hearing sleazy sex-love horror stories of Valentine’s woe weren’t enough to tempt you to this epic annual bitchfest, intermission will feature a live auction of donated erotic merchandise guaranteed to make your Valentine’s Day both filthy and exciting no matter what loser you spend it with — even yourself! The auction and performance both benefit the Center for Sex and Culture and the St. James Infirmary. Email skidroche@gmail.com for more information about the auction or to offer goods for donation.

My Sucky Valentine!
Twisted Tales of Love Gone Wrong

Friday, February 13, 7-10pm

Location: Center for Sex and Culture, 1519 Mission Street, San Francisco

Cost: $10-$20 sliding scale at the door (no one turned away for lack of funds)

Proceeds benefit the Center for Sex and Culture and the St. James Infirmary

Featuring: m.i. blue, Charles Gatewood, Daphne Gottlieb, Carol Queen, Kirk Read, Simon Sheppard, and horehound stillpoint.

Hosted by Thomas S. Roche

Email skidroche@gmail.com if you have goods you would like to donate to the benefit auction.

My Sucky Valentine 2009

January 29, 2009



My Sucky Valentine 2009

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

If love did not suck, would it become necessary to suck it?

San Francisco writer Thomas Roche likes to think so, which is why every Valentine’s Day he has San Francisco’s snarkiest underground writers terrorize the local population with tragic and hilarious stories of love and romance gone wrong, wrong, wrong!

We’re talking crazy exes, unwashed freeloaders, ultra-processy tricks and Stalkers From Hell(tm), plus back-alley drama and personal effects set alight on the front lawn — not to mention the occasional heartwarming truck-stop hookup and how you, as an audience member, can abandon all hope for love and get the filthy disgusting sleaze you know you really want, or just humiliate yourself trying in time-honored Valentine’s Day tradition.

This perrennially nasty, frequently filthy and always hilarious spoken word event features such acclaimed literary shoe-throwers as Carol Queen, Simon Sheppard, Charles Gatewood, m.i. blue, horehound stillpoint, and Daphne Gottlieb.

As if hearing sleazy sex-love horror stories of Valentine’s woe weren’t enough to tempt you to this epic annual bitchfest, intermission will feature a live auction of donated erotic merchandise guaranteed to make your Valentine’s Day both filthy and exciting no matter what loser you spend it with — even yourself! The auction and performance both benefit the Center for Sex and Culture and the St. James Infirmary. Email skidroche@gmail.com for more information about the auction or to offer goods for donation.

My Sucky Valentine!
Twisted Tales of Love Gone Wrong

Friday, February 13, 7-10pm

Location: Center for Sex and Culture, 1519 Mission Street, San Francisco

Cost: $10-$20 sliding scale at the door (no one turned away for lack of funds)

Proceeds benefit the Center for Sex and Culture and the St. James Infirmary

Featuring: m.i. blue, Charles Gatewood, Daphne Gottlieb, Carol Queen, Kirk Read, Simon Sheppard, and horehound stillpoint.

Hosted by Thomas S. Roche

Email skidroche@gmail.com if you have goods you would like to donate to the benefit auction.

New Zelazny Book: The Dead Man’s Brother

January 23, 2009



New Zelazny Book: The Dead Man’s Brother

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

If you have ever read my writing, you have read the words of a geektard fanboy attempting rather lamely to emulate the writing style of science fiction’s most brilliant m0th3rf*ck1ng stylist, Roger Zelazny.

Srsly: I learned how to write worth a damn, if I did, by reading this guy’s early short stories. Roger Zelazny is far and away my favorite writer, and when it comes to style as far as I’m concerned you can just bloody well fuck Chandler, Hammett, Ellison, Uncle Bill, Moorcock, Willeford, Ellroy, Twain, Shaw, HST, Bowles, Woolrich, Lovecraft, David Dodge, Camus and that balding smegger from Avon RIGHT IN THE EAR, you hear me? Zelazny could write stylistic circles around all of them, always, it seemed, without ever being bothered to try, which much of the time I’m pretty sure he didn’t. He didn’t seem to have to.

That said, Zelazny put out some stupendously unreadable books, atrocities so stunningly bad that just reading the titles of them on a bookshelf make my brains start crawling down my spinal column, desperately trying to hide in my ass.

Zelazny also had serious character development problems; his best works were populated with charmingly engaging ciphers; look for the deep, complex human themes in the first five books of the Amber series and… ummmm…. did I mention he’s a really good stylist?

Given those facts, it won’t be a news flash that I’m about as high as Amy Winehouse right now on a speedball of excitement and trepidation about Zelazny’s lost noir novel, The Dead Man’s Brother, which comes out next week from Hard Case Crime.

Yes! You read that right; this is Roger Z’s lost noir novel!! The manuscript was lost among Zelazny’s papers for well over 30 years, and this is the novel’s first publication. According to Wikipedia, the book was completed in 1971, which would put it smack dab bumpin’ fuzzies up against my absolute favorite Zelazny novel of all time, Jack of Shadows, which has always felt to me, as with many passages in the Amber series, like a brilliant fantasy pastiche of noir writing.

The summary from the Hard Case Crime site:

“Once an art smuggler, now a respectable art dealer, Ovid Wiley awoke to find his former partner stabbed to death on his gallery floor. That was strange enough—but when a CIA agent showed up to spring him from NYPD custody, things got a lot stranger.

“Now the CIA is offering to clear up the murder charge, but only in return for a favor: They want Ovid to fly to Vatican City and trace the trail of a renegade priest who has gone missing with millions in church funds. What’s the connection? The priest’s lover, a woman Ovid knew in his smuggling days…”

Who knows? Garbage or gold, it’s Roger Zelazny, and so what if the site of Dorchester Publishing, Hard Case’s parent company, claims the book is by Robert Zelazny, which I would have figured had to be the old Master’s son, except that I already knew his sons were named Devin and Trent — that’s how much of a f*ing geek I am, people.

Hard Case Crime, incidentally, is helmed by Charles Ardai, who was a contributor to my very first anthology, Noirotica, for which he wrote what I still consider the definitive vintage dirty detective story, and to Noirotica 2: Pulp Friction, for which he wrote a Japanese gangster story so freakin’ twisted I’m still to this day utterly stunned that Masquerade Books ever let me publish it.

Ardai went on to write an absolutely stunningly brilliant pair of crime novels, Little Girl Lost and Songs of Innocence, as Richard Aleas, and has a new one, Fifty to One, that sounds like about the best god damned thing to happen to crime since the Browning Automatic Rifle.

In addition to publishing a number of other great contemporary crime novels, including Christa Faust’s porno-noir Money Shot, Hard Case has been responsible for an absolute PILE of mind-bendingly good classic crime novels from the days of pulp publishing. Lawrence Block, Donald E. Westlake, Max Alan Colins, Lawrence Block, Lester Dent, Ed McBain, David Goodis, Erle Stanley Gardner, and Mickey Spillane all appear in the Hard Case roster, and I have Ardai to thank for introducing me to one of my new favorites, David Dodge.

If you are not a fan of vintage crime fiction those names might mean nothing to you… in which case, the world you live in, my friend, is most likely not rendered in the stark black and white of impressionist tragedy but some weird shade of yellow, with streaks of like lime green or something, and oh Christ, probably sickly orange polkadots. I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry.

Getting back to The Dead Man’s Brother: I wouldn’t say I’m optimistic, exactly, because when you crack a Hard Case Book you expect the the very worst: blood, betrayal, murder and mayhem, rendered in brilliantly readable prose. If it’s up to snuff, it’s going to be brutally icky and I’m going to need a shower afterwards.

Can Zelazny’s lost, discarded thriller stand up against the genius of, for instance, Lawrence Block’s first novel Grifter’s Game, which Hard Case brought back into print? Can Roger Z match the best themes of the greatest noir fiction with its doom and despair, its tragedy and agony, its central belief that there’s a gooey caramel-center to every human heart — and inside that a hard piece of flint that, if you whack it really fucking hard enough times with a hatchet, just might strike a brilliant spark of redemption — a spark made all the more beautiful because it’s makes such a nice phhhffffft!!-ing noise when all the gore snuffs that spark right back out?

Er… did I mention the guy was a hell of a stylist?

Well he was. He was really fucking good. And sometimes, when you’re so good, that just might be all it really takes.

Was Roger Z able to go there? Is his soul black and awful, with a diamond inside, or are we going to get Madwand with Tommy guns?

I’ll be reading it with a bottle of bourbon, just in case.

Shrimp Running On a Treadmill With the Benny Hill Theme

January 17, 2009



Shrimp Running On a Treadmill With the Benny Hill Theme

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

You heard me. I don’t understand it either, but if you believe that the internet was made to further the intellectual development of mankind… you’re wrong. It was made for this.

Shrimp Running On a Treadmill With the Benny Hill Theme, via Fuck You Penguin.

Perverts Put Out, Bye, Bye Bush: Tomorrow Night

January 16, 2009



Perverts Put Out

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

I’m reading some politically-themed paranormal porno tomorrow at Perverts Put Out, tomorrow, the Bye-Bye Bush Edition:

‘Perverts Put Out!, San Francisco’s long-running pansexual performance series, has featured stellar line-ups of truly twisted, mega-talented artistes…and even an occasional naked mayoral candidate.

‘The next PPO, on Friday, January 16, will be the special Bye-bye Bush Edition, featuring delightfully pervy performers Charlie Anders, Greta Christina, Stephen Elliot, Shar Rednour, Kirk Reed, Thomas Roche, horehound stillpoint, and your ever-so-humble emcees Dr. Carol Queen and Simon Sheppard. Come join us as we throw one last shoe at W.

Find out more at SimonSheppard.com/pervertsputout.html.

Image: First Row: (l to r): S. F. mayoral candidate George Davis, mattilda, Charlie Anders. Below text: Making the scene at Perverts Put Out: (top, left to right) Lori Selke and admirer, Dr. Carol Queen, Steven Schwartz (second row, l to r) Kirk Read, Meliza Bañales, mattilda, (bottom row) Daphne Gottleib, Lori Selke, Simon Sheppard, Charlie Anders, and Carol Queen, and horehound stillpoint.

The Parajet Skycar

January 15, 2009



The Parajet Skycar

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

CNN has video, and the Associated Press has a story, about the Parajet Skycar, which set out from London on a voyage to Timbuktu, Mali, in the deep Sahara. The trip will take them through Spain, Morocco, and the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

The brainchild of inventor Giles Cardozo, the craft is piloted and/or driven by Neil Laughton, late of Her Majesty’s Special Air Service.

The Parajet Skycar is essentially a dune buggy with a huge fan attached, not unlike the airboats used to cruise all zoomy-like on the Florida Everglades and elsewhere. It flies using a paraglider wing.

On this trip to Timbuktu, the Skycar will drive where there are roads — across Europe, ferinistance — but will fly across the Straits of Gibraltar, the Atlas Mountains in northern Morocco, and the vast tracts of the Sahara where there are no roads.

Almost as cool as flying from London to Mali: according to a NextAutos.com story from last July, the Skycar is carbon-neutral. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but the NextAutos story says the thing is biofuel powered.

Showing himself to be exactly the type of happy-go-lucky guy who pilots a flying dune buggy from London to Mali, Laughton expresses his excitement about landing in African towns. “I just can’t wait to see their faces when we fly in and start playing football with them,” he said.

I can’t be sure, fellow Yanks… but I think he means “soccer.”

Photo from SkycarExpedition.com.

Wishing You a Happy Bedford Day

January 13, 2009



Cryonic Preservation

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

Upon his death 41 years ago today, on January 12, 1967, Dr. James Bedford became the first human to be cryonically preserved. He died of natural causes, and his body was frozen under a grant from the Life Extension Society. The three scientists who froze him included Robert Nelson, president of the Cryonics Society of California, who wrote a book about it: We Froze the First Man. Bedford was placed under the care of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, from whom this photo comes, in 1991. Alcor actually seems to favor just freezing the heads in big silver things that look sort of like souped-up Fleshlights. The Bigfoot Dewar is designed to hold four whole-body patients and six “neuropatients” — heads, son. They mean heads.

In unrelated incidents, Alcor suffered accusations by a former Chief Operating Officer who said they’d mishandled the head of baseball star Ted Williams, drilling holes in it and accidentally cracking it. They had already been accused, in 1994, of murdering a patient with barbiturates before removing her head, and of hastening the 1992 death of a terminally ill patient, but no charges were ever filed in either case.

According to Wikipedia, the cryonics community celebrates the day of James Bedford’s preservation as ‘Bedford Day.'”

Photo: Alcor Life Extension Foundation, by way of Wikipedia, from which all this info is condensed.

Fuck You, Penguin

January 13, 2009



F You, Penguin

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

Little Tart brings to my attention the sublime beauty that is Fuck You Penguin, in which cute things are verbally abused. I now quote this post about this adorable little odd couple:

“So this snake was supposed to eat this hamster, but supposedly it decided that the hamster was just too wonderful to eat and now they hang out and stuff. People think this is a metaphor for world peace.

“Personally, I’m not impressed. I think the snake waited too long to eat the hampster because there were people watching, and now it’s stuck in the friend zone. All they do is hang out and watch TV, and every time the snake says “Hey, wouldn’t it be weird if I ate you?” the hamster is like “Haha, you’re so funny” and changes the subject. So fuck you, Snake, for making people think world peace is achievable, when all you need to do is grow some balls.”

Image from Fuck You Penguin.