Sunday, April 30, 2006

Stephen Colbert and Jerry Casale

Jerry Casale is one of the most brillant men in a rock band or anywhere. Articulate and sharp as a razor, he cut through the optimism of many at Beyond Baroque last night. We have indeed devolved to the point that people don't want to think, don't know good advice, and are basically lemmings.

I was very conflicted, especially when interviewed later. Vale, our host, mentioned women and punk. The interviewer, Carlye, said she's heard men mention that women were involved in punk, but never said by women. Ouch, ain't that the truth!

I said something, very impassioned and loudly (no surprise) and NO ONE in the room bothered to say, oh, that's one of the earliest LA punks who also extensively photographed the scene from within the scene. No, to many in the room, I was, yet again, just some loud woman. People are clamoring to know the real history, but we're bombarded by many who weren't even there, saying all kinds of things that fly in the face of those who not only were there, but helped CREATE PUNK.

That is why it's so hard for me to go to these events. I sit there like an observer, when I was and am a participant. It's not my ego, it's the truth of what I say. I remember, I have photos, people who were there write to me, I share those stories, those memories, those facts. But until someone validates I speak from authority, and don't just rehash mindless theories floating about, then my words have no weight. And that drives me crazy. It's so sad: this history will be lost and distored if people don't pay attention to those who CREATED PUNK.

Maybe I should introduce myself, but would that be taken as egotistical? Maybe the problem is I'm too polite. I should not rely on men to do the right thing and give credit where credit is due. I gotta work on that!

At one point a woman said she's 16 and Jerry and the panelists will die in 30 years. He thanked her for giving him those many years. One point he was making was although the old method of record distribution doesn't work as it did before (and as punks found out, never worked that well for us 30 years ago), the net is not much better. His last comments were that iTunes won't play his music. You can't hear Jerry Casale from Devo on iTunes.

Wait, didn't Disney just release Devo 2.0, a cover version aimed for younger audiences? But Jerry can't get his current music on iTunes? Although, as the young woman said, "there are thousands of sites to hear music," where does a fan start? And you better believe that I try to hear as much new music as I can, but to do it properly, I'd work less than I do (not a good thing).

I mentioned the fight for "net neutrality," and these women, who live on the net and know of moveon.org, never heard about that bill. I wanted to add this battle is one wherein corporations (whom Jerry rightfully criticized) are on OUR side. Amazon and AOL don't want slower access and less info posted because their revenue streams depend upon easy access and readily available info. You'd think they'd be able to take on Congress and the telecommunications monopoly, but this new bill caught everyone by surprise (like aspects of the Patriot Act). This Admin and Congress act without public discourse, with the help of the press, asleep at the wheel (and bought off).

This morning I laughed and cheered at the tape of Stephen Colbert sticking it not only to the Pres, but the PRESS CORP. I mentioned seeing Helen Thomas next to him at the dais before running off to the punk gathering last night. She played a vital role in his presentation. Over and over, Helen asked: "WHY DID WE INVADE IRAQ?" Too few in the media ask that question and all settle for no answers. Except "doubting Thomas," relegated to the back of the press room. Yet little of what Colbert said was mentioned in the MSM aka mainstream media.

He too spoke truthfully, or using his fave word, with truthiness. Punk and politics, as I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it, are related.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. How many more chances do you think you'll get to get it right? What good is the net if it's censored and more expensive? Don't think it will happen? Happening right now.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Valerie Plame and Laura Bush: together at last!

While getting ready to go see/hear Jerry Casale and Vale [Search and Destroy, the SF punk fanzine] in celebration of James Stark's updated SF photo book, Punk 77, at Beyond Baroque, I caught part of the Washington Correspondents Dinner. I'm taping it to see just how much Stephen Colbert sticks it to the man.

But how weird is it to see a blonde, radiant, yet outed CIA agent Valerie Plame and her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, in the same room as a smiling, always talking Laura Bush and her spouse, looking rather uncomfortable and isolated?

Did you know the Bush administration wants to criminally prosectute JOURNALISTS/REPORTERS for leaking info that may be detrimental to them? Doesn't matter if his Admin is breaking the laws of our great country. All that matters is if they leak info those in charge don't want leaked.

Isn't that the role of the press: to uncover crimes against citizens when perpetrated by the government? Or big business? Or increasingly, when both OUR government and big business conspire against US. Read more about it online, starting with the NY Times and huffingtonpost.com.

Who is on the right of Mr. Colbert? None other than one of my all-time heroines, Helen Thomas. Ms. Thomas, covering the White House since before many of your parents were born, has been quite visibly ill-treated by those in power in DC. But it hasn't stopped that under five foot, over 80 year old woman!

If you haven't been paying attention, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is investigating who divulged Plame's name in retaliation for Wilson's published reports that Iraq was not buying yellowcake from Nigeria. That revelation contradicated the current regime's basis for invading Iraq. It's why Rove has been brought back 5 times to answer questions. Remember when W said he'd fire anyone involved? Now it turns out they have to be found guilty before he'd fire ol' 'turd blossom' (W's term of endearment for Karl Rove.)

Is W wondering what he's going to have to endure tonight? I bet he'd rather be home drinking Diet Coke? He won't be able to walk away from the press, but of course, the press won't be able to ask him questions either. Aren't we just too, too polite these days of $4 a gallon gas, of shrinking incomes, of mass walkouts planned across the US on Monday? Oh, we are so civilized.

I'm glad I'm off to celebrate my punk past, although the focus is on San Francisco -- the MOST political scene of that whole early punk era. Thank goodness early punk was in-your-face! How are we to resolve any issues if we lie or hide behind tuxedos? "People sleeping, like Washington DC." ("Year One" by X).

Monday, April 24, 2006

Mick Jagger vs Dubya in Austria

"Mick Beats George to Suite"

Forty licks ... Jagger refuses to give up room for Bush
Stony reception ... Jagger has grabbed Imperial booking

By Thomas Whitaker,
Online Sun, Showbiz Reporter,
http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006180696,00.html

President George Bush can’t get no satisfaction — after Mick Jagger grabbed [ha, planned ahead!] his hotel room.

The Rolling Stone splashed out £3,600 [approx $5K) a night for the suite days before the US leader tried to book it.

Now Mick, 62, who has been a fierce critic of the Bush-led war in Iraq, is refusing to give it up.

The veteran rocker hired the luxury Royal Suite at the five-star Imperial Hotel in Vienna, Austria, for June when the Stones are due to play a gig in the city.

Bush’s aides then tried to book it to tie in with a summit meeting.

But Mick put his foot down and insisted he was keeping the booking.

A source close to the millionaire singer said last night: “White House officials wanted to reserve the suite and all the other rooms on the first floor. But Mick and the Stones had already booked every one of them. Bush’s people seemed to be under the impression that they would just hand over the suites but there was no way Mick was going to do that.”

The classically-designed suite is said to be among the top 100 hotel rooms in the world. It boasts a 7 ft 4 in bed, chandeliers and oil paintings.

Former presidents Ronald Reagan, John Kennedy and George Bush Snr all stayed there while they were in office.

The hotel last night admitted US secret service agents vetted the accommodation — and confirmed that Bush would no longer be staying there.

An American Embassy official refused to say where he was now staying for “security reasons.”

Mick takes a swipe at Bush, 59, on the latest Stones album “A Bigger Bang,” savaging his Iraq War policy.

[my comments: Rock is mighter than W!! What if enough people said, "HELL NO, WE WON'T GO"? Remember, the PUBLIC caused the Vietnam War to end, not the government.]

Sunday, April 23, 2006

ROY ORBISON's 70th Birthday!!

Ok, young punks: you all familar with Roy Orbison? If not, you are missing a true treasure. What a voice! Did you know he wrote many of his most memorable songs? An inspiration for countless singers, a difficult life, a trouper til the end. "Anything you need, you got it." And he continues to give to his public.

For some of us, he WAS the man in black. According to liner notes from the Rhino release, "Roy Orbison, For the Lonely: 18 Greatest Hits," he wore black to set himself apart from another early southern rocker, Elvis Presley.

As Bruce Sringsteen said, while inducting him into the second Rock Hall of Fame Awards, "Everybody knows that nobody sings like Roy Orbison . . . Roy's ballads were always the best when you were alone and in the dark . . . they addressed the underside of pop romance. They were scary. His voice was unearthly."

Is that punk enough for you?

I grew up during the height of surf and motown, the British invasion, summer of love, glitter, then finally punk. Roy Orbison's voice, soul, lyrics, and arrangements were the one constant voice, the one who always stunned me with his poignancy, brillance, and even now, writing these words, I'm fighting tears for all the emotions Roy tapped.

He let us know "only the lonely knows how he feels." Aren't we all lonely and alone, really? Isn't the heart a lonely hunter? (from another southern writer, Carson McCullers).

Happy Birthday, Mr. Orbison!!

Detailed Steps to Stop Junk Mail

More about stopping junk mail:

The local store ads MUST be accompanied by a heavier paper, about 1/3 of a regular-sized paper, that lists your address and who sent it.

It will probably have ADVO on it, and in my case, another from PennySaver. I Googled junk mail, and lots of sites popped up. DO NOT PAY anyone to do this! It's easy enough to do yourself. I called the marketers and was told it takes several weeks for them to take your name off their list. Some marketers even have a dept to opt-out, so they know the law. If not, get heavy with them and tell them you will report them. No need to be rude, just firmly tell them they are violating consumer laws.

I called the Post Office, who explained they can't stop the delivery until we take that first step.

Then calendar it, and collect all the cards that have your neighbor's address on it (if you get those). Put a notice on your mailbox so the delivery person knows you contacted the marketers and if they are being delivered, it violates your consumer rights.

If two months go by and you are still getting the local ads, grocery/drug stores, auto places, carpet cleaning, etc or you are getting a card that does not correspond with your address, contact the post office again.

At that point, it might be another hurdle and have to contact the marketers again as well as file a complaint with the USPS consumer affairs department. The Post Office is NOT allowed to deliver local mailers without that address card.

However, I'd first put a note on the mailbox and call your local Delivery Supervisor, tell them what date you received the mail, so they can notify the delivery person.

When you get credit card or other offers, take the return postage paid envelopes and mail it back to them. Write on the "offer" you don't want to be contacted. If nothing else, you will cost them postage money! You can also contact all the credit card companies and stores wherein you have a charge account, and "opt-out."

The drag is the law allows them to send mail you don't want, and you have to take the steps to stop them.

The net is an invaluable source for finding the simple steps to deal with this crap, as well as contacting the offending companies. Write letters to the companies and whenever possible, cancel the charge account and let them know why you are cancelling the account, both by sending back their own postage-paid envelopes and via email.

Sometimes you just have to recycle the crap. I got several free subscriptions when I used an online service to book a flight to Vegas for the Magic fashion show last August. One is Elle, which is a trip, but not something I've ever pay for (and one month it never arrived), the other a food mag, Saveur or something like that. I contacted the company who offered the subscription, who said I had to contact the mag itself, which I did. But I am still receiving it and immediately dump it. I'm a raw foods vegan and the recipes, restaurants, etc they cover are so fattening, so disgusting that I can barely stand to touch the mag.

All you can do is try the best you can, and cause as much legal trouble and expense for them, but using their postage paid envelopes, writing them, and recycling. Thanks to Jason (and others) for writing me and recycling.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Iggy's Birthday, Earth Day and Black Flag

Iggy is 59, born April 21, 1947! And Earth Day is April 22, 1970. Iggy has risen since I shot him 1977-79, but the Earth is plagued by more troubles than 26 years ago.

Lots of Iggy stories and pix, but for another time. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to both!

What did or are you doing for Earth Day? Today I finally contacted both the PennySaver and ADVO/Shop Wise, who stick tons of grocery/drug store and local ads in my mailbox. As someone who NEVER buys from those stores (except drug store for things like q-tips and cheaper generic store brands whenever available), I HATE what these brightly colored ads do to our environment.

I researched the net, contacted them and the Post Office, and will follow up to to assure they don't even up in my mailbox! Do you know if you have a PO Box, you don't get that crap? Why inflict unwanted junk mail upon us?

Consumer laws give and I the right to refuse that junk mail. Assert your rights! It's easy!

As an artist, I've always recycled. As a raw foods vegan, I've cut way down on packaging. My apt doesn't have a recyling trash container, but the homeless go through the trash. Some tenants leave bags of beer bottles for them. I take the few plastic containers from supplements and raw food powders back to my local Santa Monica Co-Op for recycling (when I have time/money to drive/go to Co-Op), but otherwise, I let the people who recycle for survival have them.

WHY do YOU carry around bottled water? How did so many manage to live so many years without bottled water? Do you know the plastic leeches into your water, especially when hot or frozen? Do you know how the quality of YOUR HEALTH, our air, our planet SUFFER cos of so many little water bottles?

Have you seen the TV ad for "Stick It"? My pal, Sandy Espinoza, who knew Black Flag back in the day (she lived near the Church and many hung at her place), told me the lead is wearing a Black Flag t-shirt EXCEPT the four vertical bars are blocked out by an irregular black box. I saw it and it's obviously Black Flag, even if all you see is the word "Black" and the big black blob.

Can anyone tell me WHY they did that? If you are going to wear a recognizable image, why hide half of it?

I don't know why I try to figure these things out. Do yourselves a favor. DO SOMETHING FOR EARTH DAY. EVERY DAY. The planet you save IS yours. It doesn't belong to the Republicans or the Democrats. It doesn't belong to Wal-Mart or the Chinese. It most certainly does not belong to governments nor big businesses IF YOU ASSERT YOUR RIGHTS.

"This land is your land, this land is my land." Protect it!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

X SONG ON SOPRANOS!!!

"Hey, baby, it's the fourth of July." Those of you who've read my stories on my site, jennylens.net, know I wrote about that song on the 4th of July, two years ago. What did I hear while watching the very end of tonight's Sopranos? The wonderful harmonizing voices of my very fave band, John and Exene.

OHMYGAWD. Yes, I know an X song was on "Six Feet Under" and other shows, but is this too cool or what? I believe the song was written by Dave Alvin. Too bad Slash mag threw out all my Blasters negs -- I believe I had the first ever Blasters shot published.

John Doe autographed one of my many X song books: "it's been a long time since La Jolla," and that was only December, 1979! I hung out with them in their apartment on La Jolla, with Farrah Faucet-Minor ("she had to leave Los Angeles" and the one who named me "Jenny Lens"), behind Circus Books, an inspiration for "Adult Books," just around the corner from the Starwood on Santa Monica and Crescent Heights. That was spring, 1977. Well, we've all come a long way, John! And they just played the Canyon Club this weekend.

Mazel Tov! What a nice Passover/Easter gift. X on the Sopranos! Which means when Little Steven does yet another Sopranos tribute on his Underground Garage Rock, he better play it!!

Wow, I am so happy for them. Yes, after 29 years, they are still my all-time fave band. I've got so many incredible shots of them. My faves aren't just the live ones, but from their apt on La Jolla and later, Genessee, Farrah's Good-Bye Party and their debut, the Masque, Screamers parties, backstage with the Go-Go's and so much more. "It's who you know." I'm glad I know them and their music.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Generic Names for Viagra: mycoxafloppin

I am SO addicted to Huffingtonpost.com. I just had to post an edited blog [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-rost/
convincing-men-that-they-_b_18934.html] and comments for suggested generic names for Viagra (R). Then go pour yourself a stiff one! LOL!

Convincing Men That They Can't Perform
Dr. Peter Rost, 04.11.2006

Pfizer is worried. Not enough men think they have a problem in bed, so Pfizer plans on launching a second campaign to make them understand that they just don't have what it takes.

The problem for Pfizer is Viagra's sagging sales. ["sagging" sales?]

Meanwhile, an Inaugural Conference on Disease-Mongering is starting today in Australia.

"Disease-mongering" promotes non-existent diseases and exaggerates mild conditions in order to boost profits for the industry, according to the online journal Public Library of Science Medicine.

"In pharmacology, most drugs have 2 names, a trade name and a generic name. For example, the trade name Tylenol has the generic name acetaminophen; Aleve is naproxen etc.

The FDA has been looking for a generic name for Viagra. After careful consideration by a team of government experts, it settled on the generic name of mycoxafloppin.

Also considered were mycoxafailin, mydixadrupin, dixafix, and of course, ibepokin.

Also, in a suprise move, Pfizer Corp. announced today that Viagra will soon be available in liquid form that will be marketed by Pepsi Cola as a power beverage suitable for use as a mixer. It will now be possible for a man to literally pour himself a stiff one. Obviously, we can no longer call this a soft drink and it gives new meaning to the names of "cocktails" "highballs" and just a good "stiff drink."

Pepsi plans to market the new concoction under the trade name of "Mount&Do."

It's a joke :)

By: RnR on April 11, 2006 at 06:18pm

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Desperate Housewives and Sondheim

Earlier today I wrote Sondheim is a fave of mine. I'm an old film fiend, so much so people think I'm "part of the industry." Tonight I videotaped a recently restored 1929 silent "Piccadilly" starring the incandescent Anna Mae Wong. Tomata du Plenty loved Anna, I'm sure Exene does, as do I. I missed "Desperate Housewives," so I went online to find a summary.

I had no idea most of “Desperate Housewives” episode titles are based on either a Sondheim song title or lyrics. Especially funny because Carol Burnett will guest next week as Bree's stepmother. Ms. Burnett has performed in "Company" and various Sondheim special events. "The ladies who lunch" indeed! (although that is Elaine Strich's signature song).

"Being alive." One of these days Sondheim should inspire a punk tribute release. Most would start with "Sweeney Todd." Give me "Assassins": "there's another American anthem" which is exactly how most punks (and others) feel.

Inclusion doesn't happen in the ballpark, it happens in the rock club. If you feel alienated from the both the political and social landscape of our country, check out the lyrics. I’m with the narrator, that violence is not the answer. Sondheim gets beneath the violence and expresses universal feelings of alienation, dislocation, discontent in this land of plenty for some, and not enough for most.

"Assassins" did not do well when first produced (never made it to Broadway). It was scheduled for Broadway revival during September 2001. It would have been a hit, but was pulled for obvious reasons. Too bad, cos it would lend illumination into the wayward thinking of many Americans.

I am thorough believer of writing letters/emails/calls to congress, newspapers, and sharing info, all thanks to the net. Which, if we don’t do something, will be more expensive and censored. Soon, cos the net is the last bastion of freedom of expression. Think I’m crazy?

Do your research. Online news. What a concept.

Phil Ochs, Little Steven, Rodney and more . . .

April 9, 1976: Phil Ochs hung himself.

1968:
I will never forget seeing Phil at CSUN, supporting Democratic presidential contender Eugene McCarthy.
Early 1970's: In his gold lame suit at the Troubadour.
1979/1980: Hearing “Pleasures of the Harbor” at Club 88 when X played.

April 9, 2006: KCSN, "Power and Glory":

"Here is a land full of power and glory,
Beauty that words cannot recall.
Oh her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom.

Yet she's only as rich as the poorest of her poor,
Only as free as the padlocked prison door,
Only as strong as our love for this land,
Only as tall as we stand.

But our land is still troubled by men who have to hate.
They twist away our freedom
and they twist away our fate.
Fear is their weapon and treason is their cry,
We can stop them if we try."

Before I discovered punk at the end of 1975, I only listened to Phil Ochs, Joni Mitchell, Biff Rose and Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. The radio was too boring.

Visualize this: last night I updated notes to indicate I shot Darby Crash around the time he was filmed at the Ramones “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” Roxy show (December 1978), based on research by my invaluable archivist pal, musician David Jones. I’m literally writing the captions to my very first photos, Dee Dee at the Roxy, (August 1976) as Little Steven’s Underground Garage Rock is playing “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.”

I am a HUGE fan of Little Steven’s online archive. The stories, quotes, sound bytes and music are literally keeping important bits of our culture alive. Not just rock, but all realms of entertainment and the social and political environments which gave rise to various music, television, movies, radio, vaudeville, Broadway. Mass media entertainment that began in the early days of the 20th Century, focusing on the rise of rock, but its roots go waaaay back. Back to the Marx Brothers, back to Sinatra, and so much more.

I can’t describe what it’s like to work on a photo of Darby Crash for an upcoming art photo book about the LA scene and then hear the Germs on Indie 103.1 (indie1031.fm). Better yet, hearing X while working on photos for MY book. Or Gun Club photos for the upcoming “Go Tell the Mountain” from director Kurt Voss and coincidentally hearing them this morning on Watusi Rodeo hosted by Chris Morris. Coincidence or not?

If you aren’t addicted to http://www.littlestevensundergroundgarage.com, you haven’t been paying attention! Amazing amazing. And soon you’ll see lots of my photos of the people who Steve Jones (Jonesy’s Jukebox on Indie 103.1) and Little Steven play. Sundays I start with Chris Morris on Indie (11 AM to 1 PM), then switch to KCSN (kcsn.org/listen), for Beatles, roots, Dylan and the blues. From midnight to 3 AM, it’s Rodney on the Roq (KROQ, 106.7 FM). Wish those were archived too!

What about Sopranos, Big Love and Desperate Housewives? That's why digital video recorders are created!

If you haven't discovered Phil Ochs, you are missing out on one of the most important songwriters to have ever lived. He always claimed the FBI was watching him, people thought he was crazy, yet many years after his death, he was vindicated. They hounded him like they hounded John Lennon.

Don't know those stories? Watch out, it's happening again. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.